What Parameters Correlate with the Sense of Knowledge During the Early Phase of a Bird Flu Outbreak in Israel?
Galit Shohat1, Rami Peltz1, Yaron Bar-Dayan*, 1, 2
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2009
First Page: 8
Last Page: 13
Publisher Id: TOEPIJ-2-8
Article History:Received Date: 20/03/2008
Revision Received Date: 23/09/2008
Acceptance Date: 14/10/2008
Electronic publication date: 16/2/2009
Collection year: 2009
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
On March 2006, 298,000 cases of birds infected with bird flu were destroyed in nine rural settlements in Israel, out of a total of 1.2 million birds that were destroyed within these settlements and in a radius of 3 km. The population was instructed to take precautionary measures to prevent a disease outbreak. The sense of knowledge of the population concerning the disease correlated with compliance with authorities' instructions.
To analyze the relationships between the sources of information, and public emotions and interest in avian influenza with the sense of knowledge concerning the disease in the affected area and the nationwide population, during the first phase of a bird flu outbreak in Israel.
We conducted a telephone survey among two randomly selected, representative samples of adults, during the first phase of a bird flu outbreak. One sample involved 500 adult residents of the nationwide area; and the other sample involved 103 adult residents of the affected area. We measured the use of mass media, emotions, interest, and sense of knowledge of the population concerning avian influenza. We analyzed the relationships between the sources of information and public emotions with the sense of knowledge using chi-square and t-tests. A P value of < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
The use of the internet as a source of information, combined with a high level of interest and low levels of stress correlated with a high sense of knowledge concerning avian influenza during the early phase of an avian influenza outbreak in Israel. Authorities should consider these findings when planning the strategy of mass media use, in order to increase the public’s sense of knowledge concerning the disease and to enhance control of the disease outbreak by improving the compliance of the population with the authorities' instructions.