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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 137–141 | Cite as

Heeding the Message? Determinants of Risk Behaviours for West Nile Virus

  • Susan J. ElliottEmail author
  • Mark Loeb
  • Daniel Harrington
  • John Eyles
Article
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Methods

A telephone survey was administered to a random sample of adults (n=1650) living in the L6L and L6K Forward Sortation Areas of Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Results

While close to 100% of survey respondents were aware of WNv and approximately 80% recalled receiving information from the public health department regarding the virus, levels of reported personal protective behaviours were relatively low. Through a multivariable modeling process, a range of determinants emerged to explain outcome levels.

Discussion

The message about public education in the face of emerging health threats is clear; that is, that public education is key. But we cannot end the public health presence there - public health researchers must evaluate the uptake of the message.

Key words

West Nile virus risk reduction behavior public health 

Résumé

Objectifs

Le virus du Nil occidental (VNO) est apparu en Amérique du Nord en 1 999, sa première incursion ayant causé une flambée de méningo-encéphalite qui a fait sept morts dans la région de New York. Pour lutter contre le VNO, les professionnels de la santé publique recommandent diverses mesures de protection individuelle qui réduisent le risque de morsures de moustiques (porter des vêtements de protection, s’enduire d’insecticide lorsqu’on est dehors au lever ou au coucher du soleil) ou qui éliminent les gîtes à larves de moustiques (empêcher la formation d’eaux stagnantes, nettoyer périodiquement les gouttières). Nous évaluons ici l’acceptation du message de santé publique dans une zone sensible au VNO (2002) afin d’évaluer les déterminants de la probabilité de prendre des mesures de protection individuelle pour réduire le risque de contracter le VNO.

Méthode

Une enquête téléphonique a été administrée à un échantillon aléatoire d’adultes (n=1 650) vivant dans les régions de tri d’acheminement L6L et L6K d’Oakville (Ontario), au Canada.

Résultats

Près de 100 % des répondants au sondage avaient entendu parler du VNO, et environ 80 % se souvenaient d’avoir reçu de l’information des services de santé publique à propos du virus, mais les niveaux déclarés de mesures de protection individuelle étaient relativement faibles. Un exercice de modélisation multivariée a mis au jour divers déterminants possibles de ces résultats.

Discussion

Le message est clair: l’important est de sensibiliser le public aux menaces émergentes pour la santé. Mais le rôle des services de santé publique ne s’arrête pas là. Les chercheurs en santé publique doivent aussi évaluer l’acceptation du message.

Mots clés

virus du Nil occidental comportement à moindre risque santé publique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan J. Elliott
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Loeb
    • 2
  • Daniel Harrington
    • 3
  • John Eyles
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences and the School of Geography and Earth Sciences KTH 129McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.School of Geography and Earth SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Environment and HealthMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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