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TSMU continues to study epidemiology, medical signs and prevention of Lyme disease among forestry workers of Khmelnitskyi region

On December 1, 2017, a working group of scientists from the department of infectious diseases of the Ternopil State Medical University journeyed to Khmelnitsky region.

Their goal was to survey forestry workers in this region to assess their understanding of epidemiology, major clinical manifestations and prevention of Lyme borreliosis, and to conduct clinical and laboratory tests for the presence of Borrelia type bacteria among this group.

This study is a part of a large scale project Study of Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Symptoms of Lime Borreliosis in the Endemic Regions of Ukraine, and Improvement of its Diagnosis, Treatment, Rehabilitation Measures and Prevention, which is funded through the State budget Of Ukraine.

TSMU researchers surveyed the employees of the State Enterprise Iziaslavske Forestry, which is situated in the northwestern part of Khmelnytskyi region, and State Enterprise Slavutske Forestry, situated in the so-called Malopolsky mixed forest zone.

All study participants responded to a questionnaire, reporting the locations and number of tick bites, methods of their removal, testing the ticks for the presence of Borrelia type bacteria, complaints after tick bites, the use of repellents when entering the forest, and examining the skin after leaving it. Assessing their own knowledge about Lime borreliosis, forestry workers pointed out that there is a need for comprehensive information on prevention and clinical signs of the infection.

A total of 150 forestry workers from the Iziaslavske and Slavutske forest enterprises of Khmelnitsky region were surveyed.

Prof. Maria Shkilna and intern Inna Holubets administer a questionnaire to the employees of Iziaslavske and Slavutske forest enterprises.

Additionally, TSMU researchers collected blood samples from the foresters for further laboratory tests for the presence of Borrelia type bacteria.

Nurse Halyna Pazliuk and Maria Yablonska, intern student Oksana Zinko and post-graduate student Kateryna Yavorska collect blood samples.