Lyme disease: A prospective study of outdoor workers
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Type of Work82 pages
Lyme disease is the most frequently diagnosed tick-borne illness in the United States. Maryland alone reported 138 confirmed cases of Lyme disease during 1989. Assateague Island in Berlin, Maryland, is considered an endemic area for Lyme disease. This project was a prospective epidemiological study, which was developed to assess the occupational risk of Lyme disease in Assateague Island State and National Seashore Park workers. The study focused on seroconversion, tick bite exposure and preventive practices used to avoid tick bite exposure. Ninety-nine subjects were enrolled during Phase I of the study, which consisted of the administration of a questionnaire and a venous blood sample for Borrelia burgdorferi antibody detection. During Phase II of the study, eighty-six subjects were enrolled. Again, a second questionnaire was administered and a repeat venous blood sample collected. Using a chi-square analysis and t-test, the researcher identified that a significant relationship existed between time spent in the marsh and the number of tick bites experienced. A trend was observed when examining the relationship between time spent in the woodland and the number of tick bites experienced. There was no significant relationship between preventive measures practiced and the number of tick bites experienced, nor was seroconversion identified.