July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 24

CONSERVATION

In 2018, there were 47,743 reported cases
of tick-borne disease in the United States.

The Fight Against Tick-Borne Disease
How partnering with local public health agencies can help protect communities
By Danielle Chatelain, MPH

T

ick-borne diseases are increasingly threatening the health of people in the United States. In 2018 alone, state and local health
departments reported 47,743 cases of tick-borne disease to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Lyme disease
accounting for approximately 70 percent of these cases. The geographic and
seasonal distribution of vector populations - including mosquitoes, ticks
and rodents - and the bacterial and viral diseases they can carry are influenced by several factors, such as climate, land use and human responses to
disease risk. Increasing temperatures across the country can contribute to
longer warm seasons and an expanding distribution of mosquitoes and ticks.
As summer arrives, more people will be heading out to enjoy the many parks,
trails and other open spaces in their communities, further increasing their
potential contact with ticks and other disease-carrying vectors. Local health
departments (LHDs) and other local vector-control organizations play a crucial role in protecting communities from mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses
year-round, but they cannot do it alone. Park and recreation professionals are
encouraged to partner with their local public health and local vector-control
organizations to join the fight against vector-borne disease.
The National Association of
County and City Health Officials

22

Parks & Recreation

| J U LY 2 0 2 0 | P A R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N . O R G

(NACCHO), which serves as a leader, partner and advocate for the na-

tion's nearly 3,000 LHDs, has a vector control program that enhances
the capacity of LHDs and other local
vector-control organizations to detect
and respond to vector-borne disease
threats. NACCHO supports these
local programs in protecting their
communities from vector-borne disease through the development and
promotion of tools and resources,
research, policy statements, stories
from the field and more.

Shared Goals
Local public health and local park
and recreation agencies share a goal
of improving the quality of life for
their communities. They both promote access to and use of community parks, trails and other open
spaces to improve health outcomes.



July 2020 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2020 - Parks & Recreation

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