The Massachusetts Department of Health says the state has confirmed its second human case of West Nile virus this year.

Officials said Wednesday the case, like the first one, is from Middlesex County.

The new case is a woman in her 40s who was hospitalized but has been released and is recovering. The first case announced Aug. 22 was a man in his 60s officials had said was hospitalized but recovering.

The health department raised the West Nile risk level to ``moderate'' in seven communities north of Boston: Melrose, Reading, Saugus, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester and Woburn.

People are advised to protect themselves against mosquitoes and avoid outdoor evening activities when mosquitoes are most active.

There were eight confirmed cases of West Nile in Massachusetts last year, none fatal. The symptoms include fever or flu-like illnesses.