KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A University of Tennessee assistant professor is studying mosquitoes in an effort to eradicate a disease called La Crosse encephalitis.

Rebecca Fryxell told the Knoxville News Sentinel that she decided to refocus her research on the disease after hearing about a Tennessee child who died after contracting the virus in 2012.

Now, Fryxell spends part of her week collecting mosquitoes that might carry the disease and part of it observing their habitats, patterns and preferences.

She says there were 85 cases of La Crosse encephalitis reported last year and 23 of those cases were in Tennessee.

She says she is trying to figure out why the disease is more prevalent in the area and if there's any way to stop it.