Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Hermosillo, México

Pablo A. Reyes-Castro, Kacey C. Ernst, Kathleen R. Walker, Mary H. Hayden, Gerardo Alvarez-Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a serious disease in northwest Mexico, particularly in low-income communities. This study aimed to evaluate RMSF-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in an endemic urban area with a high burden of the disease. A cross-sectional study design using a non-probabilistic household survey was conducted with 400 residents in Hermosillo, Mexico. Primary themes assessed included dog and tick-related exposure, RMSF knowledge, healthcare-seeking behavior, sociodemographic data, and household information. The majority (59%) of those surveyed had heard about RMSF, although only 36% of RMSF-aware respondents knew any RMSF symptoms. Among RMSF-aware respondents, 26% did not know or were unsure of prevention strategies. Individuals in the low socioeconomic status (SES) stratum were less likely to have heard about RMSF (odds ratio [OR]: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.25-0.59), use dog collars or any other product to avoid ticks (OR: 0.40; 95% CI: 0.17-0.99), or check their dogs for ticks (OR: 0.25; 95% CI: 0.09-0.74). The likelihood of observing high numbers of free-roaming dogs in their neighborhood was four times higher in the low SES stratum (OR: 4.19; 95% CI: 2.10-8.38) than in the high SES stratum. These findings emphasize the need for an integrative community approach to improve early recognition of symptoms and knowledge of prevention strategies, particularly in low SES neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-189
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 6 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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