ASSESSING THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, PRACTICES, AND THE RISK OF TICK EXPOSURE OF PARK VISITORS ON STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK
Parks are important for human health, but they may expose visitors to ticks and tick-borne diseases. I sought to understand tick exposure risk and drivers of tick-preventative behavior in three parks on Staten Island, NY from May to August 2019. Nymphal density was highest between early June to early July, in Conference House Park, unmaintained herbaceous habitats, and trails. The fewest people visited Conference House. Men and adults visited hazardous areas most frequently, but seniors disproportionately visited hazardous areas compared to other age groups. Overall, 190 visitors were interviewed, and most could not identify a nymphal tick. Interviewees stated that parks were the main location for tick exposure (43%), but most believed they had minimal risk for tick encounter (43%). Consequently, many individuals do not conduct tick checks (42%). Drivers of practicing tick checks were knowing multiple prevention methods and tick habitats and perceiving a high likelihood of tick encounter.
parks; surveys; ticks
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis