State reports year’s first human cases of West Nile virus

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts health officials are reporting the state’s first human cases of West Nile virus this year.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Friday that three people have been infected amid an increase in mosquitoes carrying the disease.

Officials say a Worcester County woman in her 70s and a Suffolk County woman in her 50s were hospitalized and later discharged.

A Middlesex County woman in her 60s also had the disease but was not hospitalized.

The state raised the risk level for West Nile on Tuesday from low to moderate across the state, only the second time the level has been raised statewide.

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Last year six human cases were reported in the state.

The disease is typically transmitted to humans through mosquitoes and is most common in August and September.

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