4 more people have tested positive for West Nile virus in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Four more people in Massachusetts have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing this year’s total of human cases to nine.

State health officials said Tuesday that the new cases include a man in his 40s from Middlesex County who is hospitalized, a man in his 60s from Bristol County who is hospitalized, a woman in her 20s from Essex County who was released from a hospital and a woman in her 80s from Suffolk County who was released from a hospital.

No human deaths have been reported this year.

There were six human cases in the state last year.

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The virus is spread by mosquitoes, and health officials say most people infected will have no symptoms. Severe and potentially deadly illnesses like encephalitis can occur in rare cases.