UNDATED -- An epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health says it's time to start thinking about West Nile Virus.

Elizabeth Schiffman says the hot and dry weather in July and August make conditions ripe for the species of mosquito which carries the virus. But, Schiffman says it's important to understand that most people don't realize when they're exposed to West Nile Virus.

Schiffman says if you start feeling like you have the flu, a fever, or muscle aches, you should go to your doctor to see if you have West Nile Virus.

Health officials say take the usual precautions and wear repellent when you're outdoors and try to avoid being outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.