One person from Cumberland County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported Tuesday. It was the second time since 2012 that a Mainer has been diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease.

How the person contracted the virus in the current case is unknown, but the person had recently traveled to several states, and could have been exposed to the virus during that time, the CDC said. Other details about the patient are not being released to protect the person’s privacy.

The adult became ill in early September after returning from a visit to the mid-Atlantic states and was hospitalized but is now recovering at home, said the agency in a statement.

“The warm weather of the last few weeks has allowed mosquitoes to stay active,” said Dr. Siiri Bennett, Maine’s state epidemiologist, in a statement. “Mainers should remember to take precautions against being bitten.”

West Nile virus is contracted from mosquitoes, and cannot be transmitted from human to human or animal to human. The risk of being bitten by a mosquito is highest from dusk to dawn and when temperatures are above 50 degrees.

Nationally, West Nile virus cases peaked in 2012 and have since declined, according to the U.S. CDC, from 5,674 cases in 2012 to 2,205 cases in 2014, with 708 recorded through Sept. 15 of this year. West Nile tends to be more prevalent in states west of the Mississippi River, according to the U.S. CDC.


In 2012, the Mainer who contracted West Nile had not recently traveled out of state, according to the Maine CDC.

In addition to the West Nile virus case, the Maine CDC learned that a single mosquito pool in York County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, another mosquito-borne disease, on Friday. This is the first mosquito pool that tested positive this season.

Both West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are carried by mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds.

To best avoid mosquito-borne diseases, the Maine CDC recommends:

• Wearing long sleeves and long pants;

• Using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellent on skin and clothes;

• Taking more precautions at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most prevalent;

• Using screens on your windows and doors;

• Draining artificial sources of standing water.

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