Summer officially kicks of this week and with it comes warnings about mosquitoes and disease. The Vermont Department of Health is launching an effort to keep folks informed about the dangers.
For many of us mosquitoes can be a nuisance, but as we've seen before in Vermont they can also be deadly.
The warm weather means the bugs will be back out.
Last year, two people died in Vermont from Eastern equine encephalitis or EEE, and three people were diagnosed with West Nile virus.
Thursday, the health department announced a hotline to help answer questions and concerns people have about the diseases. Health officials say there are easy things you can do to help keep your family safe including wearing long sleeves, avoiding activities at dawn or dusk and using a good repellent.
"I think some people fear the repellent more than they fear the diseases. I would say there are a lot of options for repellent that are effective against mosquitoes. And I think it is more important to use your repellent and I think the diseases can be a lot more serious than people think," said Erica Berl of the Vt. Department of Health.
The health department says people who become ill with either West Nile or EEE will have flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, joint and body aches. Symptoms typically last one or two weeks, but can become more serious.
The number for the Vt. Department of Health information line is 1-800-913-1139.
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