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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials are urging people to take precautions against tick bites now that warmer weather has arrived.

The small, blood-sucking creatures can transmit a number of diseases that cause fever and flu-like symptoms. The Indiana State Department of Health says more than 250 tick-borne illness cases were reported in the state last year.

Health officials say people should check frequently for ticks on clothing, gear, pets and skin during and after outdoor activities in order to protect themselves.

Tumbling clothes in a high-temperature dryer for half an hour will kill ticks and showering can help remove unattached ticks. Those who find a tick attached to their skin should seek medical help immediately.