Students’ attitudes to tick risks

Dorota Kiewra 2,  
Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Department of Microbial Ecology and Environmental Protection, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wrocław, Poland
Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(3):437–441
Introduction and objectives:
The ever-increasing number of patients with tick-borne diseases resulted in the presented study investigating the awareness, attitudes and knowledge among students about the threats arising from tick bites and preventive anti-tick practices.

Material and Methods:
Questionnaires concerning these issues were distributed amongst Czech and Polish university students of science. Responses were analyzed by nationality and by gender.

Nearly all respondents were aware of the risks arising from ticks and could name at least one disease transmitted by ticks. The Czech students felt more threatened by tick-borne diseases, had more frequently suffered from Lyme borreliosis and were vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis more often than the Polish students. A large number of the participants applied preventive measures against ticks in order to protect themselves. The Czech students believed in the effectiveness of repellents statistically more often than the Polish students, while effectiveness is the main criterion for selection of the right repellent in both groups.

Differences in preferences between the two nations appeared in many areas, e.g. the Czechs felt more threatened by all kind of risks and suffered from Lyme disease more frequently. Gaps can still be found in both the knowledge and behaviour among the respondents. It can be expected that the general public knowledge of this issue is rather limited in comparison with the students participating in the study, who are systematically educated in the field.

Helena Nejezchlebova   
Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
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