Four new cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Massachusetts. The Department of Public Health had said earlier the cases likely were the mosquito-borne illness.

Officials confirmed that Friday. Three are from Middlesex County and the fourth from Chicopee in Hamden County. All are recovering. There have been eight cases this year, one in Berkshire County and three others in Middlesex. State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria said it's "vitally important" to take the mosquito threat seriously over Labor Day weekend.

People are urged to use insect repellent and protective clothing, and avoid nighttime outdoor activities. West Nile mosquitoes have been found in 97 communities in nine counties this year. Health officials say the state could have the most West Nile mosquitoes since the illness was first seen here in 2000.

[Via AP]