BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Health Department says West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes collected in a trap in Leicester in Addison County.
Health officials said Friday it's the first detection of the virus in the state this year.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Three people became sick with the disease last year.
Officials say the surveillance of mosquitoes has increased after two people died in Vermont last summer from Eastern equine encephalitis.
State Epidemiologist Erica Berl says West Nile is not as severe as EEE but it can still cause significant illness.
Officials are advising Vermonters to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding outdoor activities at dusk and dawn and using insect repellents.