This study aimed to examine the awareness and the work-related factors associated with scrub typhus to provide data essential for evidence-based preventive strategies. A community-based case control study was carried out in the rural areas of Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. Confirmed cases of scrub typhus (n
= 57) were based on laboratory tests performed by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 114 matched neighborhood controls, age (±6 years), gender and area of residence in the Gyeongsangbuk-do of South Korea. These cases were contracted over the 12-month period of January to December 2015. Overall, 61.4% cases and 79.8% of the control group had heard about scrub typhus. Cases were less aware about the fact that mites are mainly found in the bushes and that long sleeves and full-length pants and boots helped prevent scrub typhus. However, more were aware of the eschar lesion as a characteristic sign of scrub typhus. Work related risk factors such as having a wetland or puddles of water surrounding the house, dry field farming and working in the livestock industry were significantly associated with the scrub typhus. Health promotion strategies, such as creating general awareness, personal protection methods and improving personal hygiene and environmental sanitation in collaboration with relevant sectors, are recommended to reduce the burden of scrub typhus. Further intervention studies on awareness and behavioral and environmental modifications are required to investigate the effectiveness of such interventions.
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