After a year (2012) in which we saw about 160 people infected with mosquito-borne West Nile, with 18 of them dying from the neuroinvasive form of the disease, state Epidemiologist Dr. Raoul Ratard says they "expect maybe a fairly low season."

Dr. Ratard says they usually get the first cases in mid-June, but with July being just around the corner, he's "found a little bit of West Nile but not as much as last year," which is a good indicator of a low-infection season. Dr. Ratard says a long, cool Spring, "a mosquito control district" that has kept mosquito activity and West Nile cases very low.

Even though there have been zero confirmed West Nile cases in humans so far this year, Dr. Ratard says there will, undoubtably, be reported infections this year but he anticipates fewer than last year. He says a low activity year does not mean we should relax our guard against mosquito bites.  He has this advice for avoiding being infected with the West Nile virus.

Keep your house mosquito proof. Keep your yard free of standing water and...if there is a lot of mosquitoes biting, either you wear long sleeves or long pants or you wear mosquito repellant.

Also, make sure your repellant contains DEET.