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Ah, summer. It’s the season of backyard barbecues under blistering sunshine. Crowded beaches perfumed with liberal sunscreen. Campsites alive with critters big and very, very small.

Frolicking along with you in the great outdoors? You guessed it − germs ready to cut into your summer fun.

Reading headlines about pathogen-driven infections – from flesh-eating bacteria to mosquito- and tick-riding viruses – can be scary as you consider going for a swim, hitting the trails or even just gathering with others in the backyard. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to avoid seasoning your kebabs with an extra dash of Listeria.

Microbiologist Bill Sullivan of Indiana University offers some tips to keep you from getting sidelined over the summer by a wayward illness. “With these precautions in mind, you’re sure to have a terrific time, uninterrupted by the germs of summer,” he writes.

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Vivian Lam

Associate Health and Biomedicine Editor

Taking precautions against outdoor pathogens can keep you from getting sidelined over the summer. galitskaya/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Summertime can be germy: A microbiologist explains how to avoid getting sick at the barbecue, in the pool or on the trail

Bill Sullivan, Indiana University

Common summer activities can expose you to a host of infectious diseases. But there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from pathogens ranging from E. coli to T. gondii.

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