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Lyme disease: a proposed ecological index to assess areas of risk in the northeastern United States.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent public awareness has resulted in a demand for information about ways to reduce the risk of acquiring
Lyme disease.

METHODS:

Twenty-two school properties and recreational areas within a
Lyme disease endemic area of central Monmouth County, New Jersey were evaluated for risk of transmission using an ecological index on the suitability, amount, and access to Ixodes dammini habitat by target human populations and the abundance of infected adult ticks.

RESULTS:

The characterization of tick habitat accurately predicted the elimination of 11 sites from concern. Of the remaining 11 sites, six were classified high risk and five as moderate risk. On-site tick surveys identified infected I. dammini adults at only four sites (three risk; one moderate risk).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that the use of selected ecological parameters provides a cost-effective method to rapidly identify areas at risk for
Lyme disease transmission.

Am J Public Health. 1991 Jun;81(6):714-8.

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