AUGUSTA (AP) – Maine has recorded its first confirmed case of West Nile virus in a bird this summer, officials said Tuesday.

A crow collected from Standish on Aug. 6 tested positive for the virus, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

“This is a reminder that West Nile virus is once again here in Maine,” Commissioner Jack Nicholas said.

West Nile comes to Maine in infected birds, and the disease is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes that bite the birds.

Maine is focusing less this summer on testing birds than on expanding testing of people with symptoms of West Nile.

Maine has not yet had a confirmed case of West Nile in a human. So far, three dozen people have been tested for the disease this summer, said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Bureau of Health.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services encourages people to cover up with clothing or use an insect repellent containing DEET, which has the added benefit of repelling ticks that carry Lyme disease.

People also are encouraged to fix screens that keep mosquitoes out of houses, avoid going outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active, and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed.

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AP-ES-08-17-04 1506EDT

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