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University Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Sources of Information About Zika Virus.

Abstract

Colleges and universities are valuable partners for community health education outreach targeted to young adults. After the outbreak of Zika virus infection in the Americas was declared to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016, postsecondary institutions played an important role in educating at-risk communities about health promotion and disease prevention strategies. In April 2016, we recruited 613 undergraduate students from a large public university to complete a survey about their Zika-related knowledge, attitudes, and information seeking behaviors. We standardized the results so that the participants' reports would be representative of the age, sex, major (course of study), and other characteristics of the university's student population. Most students knew that Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes (88.1%), but only about half knew that the virus could be transmitted through sexual intercourse (56.8%). Students perceived Zika to be a health risk for pregnant women in Zika-affected countries (83.0%), but did not personally feel at risk (12.1%). Many students (43.8%) reported not knowing where to get accurate information about Zika. Identifying gaps in scientific knowledge, misperceptions about personal susceptibility, and opportunities for behavioral risk reduction is an important foundation for designing community-based health interventions when future emerging infectious disease events occur.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive 5B7, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA.

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    Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive 5B7, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA. jpainte6@gmu.edu.

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    Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive 5B7, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA.

    Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive 5B7, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA. kjacobse@gmu.edu.

    Source

    Journal of community health : 2018 Jan 09 pg

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    29318503