Risk factors for tick exposure and suboptimal adherence to preventive recommendations

Timothy F. Jones, Robert L. Garman, Bonnie LaFleur, Scott J. Stephan, William Schaffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Tickborne diseases are the most common vectorborne illnesses in the United States. Understanding risk factors for tick bites and adherence to preventive measures are important in preventing morbidity associated with tickborne disease. Methods: A random-digit-dialing telephone survey was administered to 1820 residents of 11 counties in Tennessee. Results: Of respondents, 16.4% reported a tick bite within the previous year. Only 29% consistently used insect repellant in high-risk situations, and only 54% always checked their bodies for ticks after leaving potentially infested areas. Nearly one fourth of dog owners removed ticks from their pets with bare hands. Dog ownership, rural residence, and exposure to a farm were associated with increased risk of tick bites. Conclusions: We identified several groups that were at increased risk of tick bites and might benefit from targeted prevention messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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