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West Nile warning - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

West Nile warning

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NEW YORK -

The Sabino Family spends a lot of time outdoors.

"Every weekend we're out at baseball games or pool parties or hiking or jogging or riding bikes," mom Allison Sabino said.

And with the mosquitoes biting, the Centers for Disease Control is warning everyone to take precautions against West Nile Virus. Since January, about 240 people have contracted the virus. That's the highest number at this time of year since 2004. Most cases are in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

"We are early in the season. August and September are usually the peak transmission periods, so having this much activity this early and this widespread is cause for concern," said Dr. Roger Nasci of the CDC.

The most common symptoms include fever, headache and body aches. But the virus can also trigger potentially deadly symptoms such as inflammation of the brain. People over 50 and those with cancer or diabetes are at greatest risk for serious illness.

To keep the bugs away, experts say you should look for products that contain DEET because they are the most effective. But experts say be cautious using DEET products on children.

"You want to minimize your child's exposure to the insect repellent. So once you come inside, give them a bath, wipe off all the insect repellent and they should be fine," said Dr. Alanna Levine, a contributor for BabyCenter.com.

Wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk also protects when mosquitoes are out in full force.

Allison Sabino always keeps the bug spray close.

"I want to make sure that I protect my children any which way I can," she said.

She wants them to enjoy the summer and stay safe.

The CDC says we're probably seeing more cases of West Nile because much of the US had a mild winter, a very early spring and then very high temperatures and just the right rainfall patterns to make a lot of mosquitoes.

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