Tick Bite Risk and Tick-Borne Disease Perceptions of School District Administrators in the Mid-Atlantic United States

Erika T. Machtinger, Andrew Y. Li, Yifen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lyme disease is a common tick-borne disease in the northeastern and midwestern United States. School-aged children aged 5-15 years are at high risk for contracting Lyme disease. Many school campuses in the mid-Atlantic United States are in areas that are near, or border with, wooded habitat. METHODS: We surveyed school administrators to determine the perception of risk of tick encounters and tick control methods implemented on school campuses in the mid-Atlantic. RESULTS: Responses from Pennsylvania and New Jersey districts indicate school district administrators had knowledge of Lyme disease and blacklegged ticks, but knowledge of other tick species and tick-borne diseases was limited. Overall, the results suggest that targeted communication of educational information regarding ticks and tick control to school districts could encourage increased participation in organized tick control or other preventative measures. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, respondents were aware of ticks and Lyme disease, but were not aware or had limited awareness of many other tick-borne diseases, and how tick bite risk could be reduced. Targeted communication of educational information regarding ticks and tick control to school districts could provide a framework for reducing tick-borne disease risk in mid-Atlantic school districts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-968
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume89
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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