Indianapolis, In. — Indiana state health officials say the CDC has confirmed two cases of the deadly Heartland virus.The Heartland virus was recently discovered and is believed to be transmitted by ticks. The symptoms are flu-like and the disease attacks blood cells that fight infection and help with clotting.“Tick bites can cause serious illness and even death, and the discovery of Heartland virus gives Hoosiers another important reason to take precautions,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “If you become ill after spending time outdoors, visit your health care provider immediately — especially if you found an attached tick. Prompt diagnosis of tick-borne illness helps prevent complications.”Hoosiers can reduce their risk of tick bites by:* Avoiding direct contact with ticks by staying away from wooded and brushy areas and walking in the center of trails* Using EPA-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus* Applying products containing 0.5% permethrin to clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tentsOfficials say ticks are found in grassy and wooded areas and are most active in late spring and early summer. In 2016, Indiana recorded more than 200 cases of tick-borne illness.After outdoor activities, people should conduct full-body tick checks using a hand-held or full-length mirror. Children should be assisted when performing tick checks. Showering or bathing can help remove any unattached ticks. Pets, coats, and day packs should also be checked for unattached ticks. Tumbling dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 20 minutes will kill unattached ticks on clothing.