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Contact with ticks and awareness of tick-borne diseases among the Czech population–a pilot study.

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In the Czech Republic, the incidence of
Lyme borreliosis (LB) has shown a rising trend since 1988. The goal of this study has been to find out to what extent a selected part of population is aware of ticks and of the relationship between ticks and LB. The study was based on a questionnaire survey. A total of 110 respondents were selected, including 19 secondary school students, 32 blood donors, 44 park-goers, 15 countryside people. As many as 99% of the respondents were aware of the presence of ticks, 91% knew that ticks are sucking blood of humans and animals, 1.8% thought they eat leaves. 74.5% of the respondents expect ticks to reach them from the vegetation while 22% believe that ticks fall from the trees. Furthermore, 87% and 75% of the respondents indicated to have had ticks attached to the skin or to have removed a tick from other persons’ skin, respectively. Only 6.7% of them had never come into contact with ticks. 17% of the respondents use disinfectant when removing a tick, while 67% use oil for tick removal. Almost 30% remove ticks with naked hands. Over 14% destroy the ticks by squashing them with naked fingers. Finally, about 11% of the population studied had never heard about LB and 41% were not aware of the risk of tick-borne encephalitis.

Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1998 Dec;288(4):553-7.

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