Mosquitoes collected in York County have tested positive for a virus that can be transmitted to people and was last detected in Maine four years ago, the state said Tuesday.

It is the first time since 2019 that Jamestown Canyon Virus, or JCV, has been detected in the state. The virus is more common in other parts of the country, especially the upper Midwest.

“There are currently no known human cases of JCV or any other locally acquired mosquito-borne illnesses in Maine this year,” the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

The virus was found in a pool of mosquitoes – a group of one to 50 – collected in the town of Wells for regular testing to monitor for the presence of a variety of mosquito-born diseases.

Other mosquito-borne illnesses in Maine include eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus. Testing has not detected the presence of either in Maine so far this year.

People infected with JCV, EEE or West Nile can experience fevers and flu-like symptoms. “Severe symptoms can occur, including encephalitis, meningitis, and even death. If you experience any of these symptoms call your health care provider,” the CDC said.

The rainy, humid weather in Maine this summer has resulted in near-ideal breeding conditions for mosquitos and state officials are warning residents to protect against bites.

“These viruses spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread from human to human or human to animal,” the Maine CDC said.

To protect yourself against mosquito-borne diseases, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and long pants, wear insect repellant and take extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active. Also, remove standing water, such as water collected in wheelbarrows, because mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water.

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