Exposure to ticks and undertaking Lyme borreliosis prevention activities among students from Poland and Slovakia
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Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, Biała Podlaska, Poland
Presov University, Slovakia
Corresponding author
Anna Pańczuk   

Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska, ul. Sidorska 95/97, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2019;26(2):217-221
Introduction and objective:
The incidence of Lyme borreliosis (LB) is increasing in many countries in Europe, including Poland and Slovakia. The aim of the study was to analyze the exposure to tick bites and undertaking LB prevention activities among students of medical fields of studies in Poland (PL) and Slovakia (SK).

Material and methods:
The study was conducted among 611 students from Poland (296 students) and Slovakia (315 students). The applied research tool was the questionnaire. It consisted of questions about exposure to ticks (occurrence of an episode of tick bites, bite site, methods used for tick removal) and the frequency of undertaking preventive actions (using repellents, checking the body after returning from green areas). Pearson Chi-square statistics were calculated to assess significant differences between students from the study countries PL/SK and gender in each country.

Among surveyed students the episode of a tick bite was reported by 352 persons (57.6%). Students from PL most frequently removed ticks with tweezers with a swift, steady movement (26.6%), while students from SK removed the tick by applying a fatty substance so that it would come off by itself (30.1%). Most of the surveyed students, being outdoors, did not apply ticks repellents (34.7%) or used them rarely (48.9%). At the same time, 49.4% of students stated that they always checked the body to search for any attached tick after returning from green areas.

Considering the fact that the surveyed people were the students of medical fields of studies, and in the future became qualified medical personnel, the frequency of using the analyzed methods of prophylaxis of LB appears to be too small. The results obtained can help in the education of students of medical fields.

We would like to thank M. Wasilewska for providing language help and A. Szepeluk from Innovation Research Centre, Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska, for assistance with statistical analysis.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
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