Calls for greater awareness of potentially fatal Lyme disease
Potentially deadly to humans, Lyme disease is a high-profile vector-borne infection that is increasing in significance in the UK and consequently impacting on countryside planning and management. With more people working or recreating in the countryside, there is a need for land-based organisations to manage potential risks.
A recently published paper in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management suggests that land-based organisations should increase communications regarding the risk of contracting Lyme disease, citing an accessible resource base which provides accurate and consistent information that can be tailored to different audiences to be a potential solution.
The paper explores the role of risk communication as a tool for preventing staff or the wider publics contracting Lyme disease. Through interviews with representatives of land-based organisations and content analysis of information they provide, the article focuses on the relationship between organisational attitudes towards Lyme disease and the information they provide. While there is an appetite for a consistent approach to communicating about Lyme disease, it would appear that there is currently no clear agreement over the level of information that should be communicated, how and to whom.
The article concludes that most of the organisations included in this study produce their own information on ticks and Lyme disease, but that a common approach to information provision would be appealing, allowing for flexibility to target particular audiences. The paper continues to suggest that greater interaction between health authorities and land-based organisations would be beneficial in the battle against this infection.
Read the full article online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09640568.2012.660569
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