Gulf coast health officials are urging residents to use mosquito repellant after two people died of Eastern equine encephalitis this month.
On Thursday, Hillsborough County health officials elevated an advisory first issued in April to an alert to let residents know they need to be more cautious.
The warning comes after a woman in her 50s died on July 1, followed by the death of an infant, MyFoxTampaBay.com reported.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, the Centers for Disease and Prevention said on its website. It’s a rare illness in humans and only a few cases are reported in the U.S. each year. The most severe cases of EEE involve encephalitis, which is inflammation on the brain.
The CDC said you can reduce your risk of being infected with EEE by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active.