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"From my own experience, I can tell you it's not a very mild illness," Petersen cautioned. "It will ruin your summer."
Experts are expecting another epidemic of the disease this summer.
"People tend to discount this as a significant problem," Petersen said, "but more than 1.5 million people have been infected so far in the United States, and about 300,000 have had West Nile fever."
Petersen mentioned that some patients with West Nile virus can develop a severe neurological disease that can be fatal.
Even by taking precautions, Petersen concluded, the disease won't be eradicated in the U.S. anytime soon. "I think West Nile virus is here to stay, and I can't tell you how many cases will occur this summer, but there will be epidemics."