The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says two Maine residents are recovering from the Powassan virus, a rare virus transmitted to humans by infected ticks.

Two midcoast Maine residents were recently infected by the virus, which is sometimes called the deer tick virus.

The two are recovering after being hospitalized in April with encephalitis, the Portland Press Herald reported.

“Powassan, although rare, can be serious so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid being bitten by ticks,” state epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett said in a statement. “Ticks are found in wooded and bushy areas so use caution if you go into these areas.”

The state said Mainers can take steps to prevent tick bites, including wearing protective clothing, using an EPA-approved repellent and performing daily tick checks.

Since 2000, there have been just nine confirmed cases of Powassan virus in Maine.

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