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Effectiveness of personal protective measures to prevent Lyme disease.

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Abstract

After the manufacture of
Lyme vaccine was discontinued in 2002, strategies to prevent
Lyme disease (LD) have focused on personal protective measures. Effectiveness of these measures has not been conclusively demonstrated. The aim of our case-control study was to assess the effectiveness of personal preventive measures in a highly
disease-endemic area. Case-patients were persons with LD reported to Connecticut’s Department of Public Health and classified as having definite, possible, or unlikely LD. Age-matched controls without LD were identified. Study participants were interviewed to assess the practice of preventive measures and to obtain information on occupational and recreational risk factors. Use of protective clothing was 40% effective; routine use of tick repellents on skin or clothing was 20% effective. Checking one’s body for ticks and spraying property with acaricides were not effective. We concluded that use of protective clothing and of tick repellents (on skin or clothing) are effective in preventing LD.

Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Feb;14(2):210-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1402.070725. Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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