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26.11.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 2/2019

Journal of Community Health 2/2019

Knowledge of the Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus and Preventive Practices Against Zika Virus Among U.S. Travelers

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 2/2019
Erik J. Nelson, Maya C. Luetke, Conner McKinney, Oghenekaro Omodior
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Individuals are often at increased risk of acquiring infectious disease while traveling. We sought to understand knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) regarding Zika virus among travelers from the United States. A total of 1043 study participants were recruited from a probability-based internet panel. Participants self-reported their knowledge of Zika infection and modes of transmission, and identified actions they had taken to prevent Zika infection and transmission including actions to prevent unintentional pregnancy since becoming aware of the Zika virus. Logistic regression was used to model the odds of taking preventive actions against Zika infection with adjustment for potential confounding factors. Knowledge of the sexual transmissibility of Zika virus significantly increased the odds of taking a preventive action against Zika infection, especially condom use or sexual abstention. Participants reported preferences for receiving information about Zika from private doctors and from the Internet. Discrepancies between where travelers seek information about Zika and how they would like to receive information regarding Zika were also found. These findings suggest that improving targeted messaging through online media may increase awareness of the sexual transmissibility of Zika as well as improve health communications with U.S. travelers. Travelers who are unaware of potential disease risks are less likely to adopt personal protective measures to protect themselves and reduce disease spread. Thus, future work should focus on improving communication and providing education to adopt effective prevention strategies while traveling.

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