528. Knowledge, Attitudes and Poultry-Handling Practices of Poultry Workers in Relation to Avian Influenza in India
Session: Poster Session: Hospital-acquired and Transplant Infections
Friday, October 30, 2009: 12:00 AM
Room: Poster Hall A
Background: Pandemic influenza has periodically inflicted significant human suffering over the past several centuries. After the first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza (AI) in 1997 in Hong Kong, it has spread to over 60 countries including India. In addition, along its destructive path, it has caused 421 human infections with 257 deaths to date. At the current rate H5N1 AI virus ominously portends to become the next pandemic influenza virus. Poultry workers are in the frontlines of this emerging disease. Although multiple outbreaks have been reported in India, little is known about their knowledge, attitudes and poultry-handling practices in relation to AI.
Methods: A cross-sectional, voluntary, interview-based survey study amongst poultry workers, both live bird market workers and poultry farm workers, was conducted in Karnataka, India. The questionnaire contained demographic, practice characteristics, knowledge and attitudes regarding AI.
Results: Among the 207 respondents, there was low awareness of AI (60%). Forty-seven percent and 78% were aware of the fact that it could be transmitted from bird-to-human and bird-to-bird respectively. There was a low (39%) perception of its seriousness. Despite possessing adequate knowledge about preventive measures in relation to AI, there was poor correlation (Corr 0.08) with its actual practice. After adjustment for potential confounders, categories of higher education, longer duration of work, urban dwelling and category of non-laborers such as supervisors/employers were associated with higher odds of being aware of AI.
Conclusions: In spite of ongoing epizootics of AI in India, there is low awareness of this disease among the poultry workers. There was also a low perception of risk and seriousness. In addition to public health interventions of tailoring educational activities to this high risk population, behavior modification to practice prevention measures should be emphasized.
Prashanth Alle, MBBS1, Kumar Belani, MBBS, MS2, Bobby Joseph, MD, DNB1, Sudhir Kumar, MD3, Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH2, Naveen Ramesh, MD, DIH1, Srinand Sreevatsan, DVM, PhD, MPH4 and  S. C. Kumar, None..
S. Sreevatsan, None..
K. Belani, None..
B. Joseph, None..
N. Ramesh, None..
P. Alle, None..
M. Osterholm, None., (1)St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, India, (2)University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, (3)University of Minnesota, Maplewood, MN, (4)University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN