BURLINGTON, Vt. – Two people have been hospitalized in Vermont with Eastern equine encephalitis, the state Health Department said Saturday, confirming the state’s first human cases.

Both cases involve adults from western Vermont, where mosquito pools recently tested positive for EEE and West Nile virus, the department said. The first and only confirmed cases of EEE in animals to date occurred in September 2011 in emus.

Elsewhere in northern New England, suspected cases of EEE and West Nile were reported in Maine in August. EEE was found in August in a mosquito batch in New Hampshire, the first time an animal tested positive for the disease there since 2010.

Like West Nile virus, EEE is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. With the human cases confirmed, Vermont health and agriculture officials are considering an aerial spraying program as early as this week.