Awareness that Dogs Can Be Carriers for Ticks that Transmit Lyme Disease
Background and Purpose: Tick exposure places one at possible risk for Lyme disease. Awareness of this fact can possibly prevent its occurrence. Urban college students are often in outdoor areas where there is potential tick exposure. Methods: College students in New York City (n=714) were surveyed about demographics, Lyme-disease knowledge, Lyme disease related topics, and dog-specific items. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors that are related to awareness that dogs can be carriers for ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Results: For both dog owners and those who do not own dogs, certain Lyme disease knowledge topics, previously heard of Lyme disease, and aware of a Lyme disease dog vaccine were each associated with increased odds for awareness about dogs being carriers. Among dog owners, African American race/ethnicity and knowing someone diagnosed with Lyme disease were each associated with increased odds for awareness, while previous diagnosis of Lyme disease had decreased odds for awareness. Conclusion: One-on-one education by physicians, nurses, veterinarians, healthcare practitioners and public health practitioners could help address some of the lack of awareness among urban college students that dogs can be carriers for ticks that can transmit Lyme disease.