• Public Attitudes, Knowledge and Practices on West Nile Virus

      Nelson, Deborah B.; Komaroff, Eugene (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Objective: To develop an original survey on public attitudes, knowledge and practices on West Nile Virus (WNV), mosquitoes, and pesticides. We sought to gain insight on what personal protective behaviors (PPBs) are used by the public and whether the public is supportive of pesticide use in combating the threat of WNV. An effective WNV control program must take into account the public's attitudes regarding PPBs and what would influence their use of PPBs. The survey findings will be used to develop a new educational plan for the West Nile Virus Surveillance and Control Program of Delaware County. We sought to determine if knowledge and concern about one's personal risk of contracting WNV were driving forces in one's use of PPBs and support of pesticide use. Results: The sample population was highly informed on WNV and used many PPBs. Knowledge of WNV and concern about contracting WNV were not significant predictors of PPB use or pesticide support. However, odds ratios indicate an increased odds of being in the high PPB group with increasing knowledge. Knowing someone who has or has had WNV was a factor in PPB use, although the outcome of WNV infection is rarely reported. Older age predicted greater PPB use while higher education predicted a lack of support for pesticide use. Conclusion: Future surveys of the public knowledge will need to reach a more diverse population than that of the current study. It appears that many people are using PPBs despite not believing in their efficacy at preventing mosquito bites and WNV. Future studies should seek to identify what is motivating people to use these PPBs, besides knowledge of WNV and concern for their health.