AUGUSTA, Maine — An individual from York County who died on Oct. 17 was confirmed to have Eastern Equine Encephalitis, marking the first person to die from EEE in Maine, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The individual, who was older than 65 and whose name was not disclosed, became ill with the rare virus in late September and was hospitalized in New Hampshire on Sept. 30, according to a statement.

Officials from the Maine CDC received positive results late last week.

“Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time,’’ State Epidemiologist Siiri Bennett said in the statement. “As this disease is transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito, it’s important for Mainers to know that there is no current risk of EEE in Maine, as there are no active mosquitos.”

Signs of EEE range from mild flu-like symptoms to inflammation of the brain, coma and death.

Most individuals infected with the EEE virus experience no symptoms of illness, according to the U.S. CDC. But in 4 percent to 6 percent of diagnosed EEE cases, patients develop a severe form of the virus that causes neurological symptoms.

One out of every three EEE patients with inflammation of the brain dies. Many survivors suffer memory, speech or cognition problems.

Maine recorded its first-ever human case of the virus last October. That individual, also from York County, survived the illness.

In August 2014, Maine CDC announced a New Hampshire resident was hospitalized at Maine Medical Center in Portland with EEE. The patient contracted the viral illness in New Hampshire but needed the high level of care available at MMC, according to health officials.

EEE has no cure. Treatment consists of supportive care, including mechanical ventilation, IV fluids and medication to control seizures and reduce brain swelling.

The EEE virus has been found in mosquitoes, birds and animals in Maine.

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...