Photo by CDC/James Gathany

APHA’s Get Ready Campaign helps Americans prepare themselves, their families and their communities for all disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. Its latest blog by APHA’s Toby Amodeo discusses Lyme disease — and how to prevent it by taking “a few simple steps.”

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. But the summer is also when there are the most ticks. Ticks are tiny insects that bite people and animals for their blood. Many can carry diseases. One of these diseases is Lyme disease. Lyme disease can cause serious symptoms, but with a few simple steps it’s easy to stay safe.

Lyme disease is most common in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but cases have been reported in almost every state. The best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid tick bites. Ticks like to live in moist, long grass, so keep your yard cut short. If you’re in the woods, stay in the center of trails and avoid bushy areas.

Wearing light-colored clothing when going outside can make ticks more visible. Be sure to use EPA-approved insect repellent with at least 20-30 percent DEET. After you’re outdoors, make sure and do a tick check and shower.

Read this article in full at APHA Get Ready.