TICK-BORNE ILLNESS SURVEY
The data collected by the Climate Impact Census's Tick Borne Illness Survey is critical to understanding the true economic burden of tick-borne illnesses, its significance within the American economy, and the way in which these costs are distributed across the United States. Existing studies collected through government research, patient surveys, and biographical testimony focus heavily on diagnosis, treatment, and health care system capacity. The work of the Climate Cost Project focuses solely on economic impacts. By taking the survey, you will help provide information on the financial effects of tick-borne illnesses on the American population to a wide audience.
The questionnaire takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND ON CLIMATE AND TICK-BORNE ILLNESS COST RESEARCH
At present, analyses of climate change costs have been limited in the number of impacts examined and the types of costs resulting from those impacts. Most work has focused on costs from extreme weather, heat, and air pollution (e.g. see here, here, here, and here), and limited to official government and insurance records that exclude out of pocket expenses and uninsured losses. The costs of vector-borne illnesses, such as tick-borne diseases, have received little attention outside impacted communities. Yet individuals suffering from tick-borne illnesses may be incurring some of the highest undocumented costs of climate change.
Though a handful of economic analyses have looked at the cost of Lyme disease in particular, costs likely remain underestimated. Aucott et al. examined medical claims from insurance records, excluding out of pocket expenses (2015). Zhang et al. included a few out of pocket expenses and other impacts, but noted their analysis likely underestimated costs (2006). A recent study by environmental economists focused strictly on the value of lost leisure time by outdoor enthusiasts fearful of infection (2017).
The main purpose of the Climate Impact Census tick-borne illness survey is to address these gaps. We hope that if Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are understood as the economic problem and environmental illnesses they are, progress can be made on reducing their spread and tackling their devastating impacts.
The Climate Cost Project understands patients' need for privacy. We will never share a participant’s information with third parties, nor publish data that could personally identify a participant.
In taking the survey, the user will need to establish a username and password so that we may contact them if necessary. This contact information helps us manage our database and keep in contact with respondents to share results as they become available. However, if the survey taker is not comfortable providing their contact information, he or she can take the survey by providing a non-identifying username and email (i.e. that do not contain the survey taker’s name).
The Climate Impact Census uses end-to-end encryption and employs a security system, which prevents unauthorized access to its databases.