Article

Knowledge and perceptions of dog-associated zoonoses: Brazos County, Texas, USA

Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX 77843-4458,USA.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.51). 10/2009; 93(2-3):211-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2009.09.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In order to assess the knowledge and perceptions of dog-associated zoonoses in Brazos County, Texas, random digit dialing was used to select 922 households for participation in a cross-sectional telephone survey. The interviews were completed during June 2008 and yielded a response rate of 55% (922/1691). Fifty-six percent of the respondents who completed the questionnaire owned dogs. Eighty-six percent of the respondents indicated they would report being bitten by a dog that they did not own. Five factors were shown to be significantly associated with such reporting. Those respondents who believed that rabies could be transmitted by bats were 5.5 times more likely (95% CI: 1.6, 18.6) to report a dog bite compared to people who did not hold this belief. Respondents who would seek emergency treatment if they believed they had been exposed to rabies were 3.1 times more likely to report a bite (95% CI: 1.8, 5.4). Those who were over 60 years of age were 2.3 times more likely (95% CI: 1.2, 4.4) to report being bitten when compared to respondents who were under the age of 60. Living inside the city limits also increased the chance that the respondent would report being bitten by a dog (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.4, 3.9). Females were 2.3 times more likely (95% CI: 1.3, 3.7) to report being bitten than their male counterparts. Dog ownership did not have a significant impact on reporting. Only 85% of respondents stated that they would seek emergency treatment if they believed that they may have been exposed to rabies. In addition, only 59% of respondents were aware that exposure to rabies without treatment could lead to death. While 98% of respondents had heard of rabies and knew that it was possible to get it from a dog, only 54% of respondents knew that worms could be transmitted from dogs to people. This study demonstrated that many people surveyed lacked knowledge about dog-associated zoonotic diseases, which could seriously impact their health and the health of their families. It is important to find a method of getting information out to the public in order to correct this deficiency.

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    • "Fontaine and Schantz (1989) noted that 63% of the residents in De Kalb County, Georgia, were not well informed about health hazards associated with animals regardless of education level. Also, Bingham et al. (2010) concluded that dog owners believed the most common way for people to get rabies was wild animal bites and only 59% of the respondents were aware that without treatment, rabies exposure leads to death. "
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    ABSTRACT: Human behaviors play a fundamental role in the epidemiology of urban wildlife diseases, and those behaviors are shaped by knowledge and ethnicity. We evaluated knowledge of rabies, transmission routes, vector species, and response to rabies exposure with a bilingual (English/Spanish) in-person survey in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ethnicity, gender, and education level were predictors of rabies knowledge. Latinos and African Americans had less rabies knowledge than non-Latino Whites. Non-Latino Whites and men had less knowledge than women. Only 41% of African American respondents identified animal bites as a route of rabies transmission to humans, and less than half of all respondents knew that washing a bite wound with soap and water was useful rabies prevention. Our knowledge scale was internally consistent (Cronbach's alpha = 0.73) and could be valuable for future studies of zoonotic disease knowledge. Future rabies educational campaigns should focus on developing culturally sensitive, language appropriate educational materials geared to minorities.
    Journal of Wildlife Management 09/2013; 77(7):1321-1326. DOI:10.2307/23470676 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "Similarly, although veterinarians were an important source for zoonotic disease information in this study, there appear to have been many missed opportunities by the profession. Analogous to a previous study [27], only 27% of the individuals who had been to a veterinarian in the past year indicated they had ever received zoonotic disease information from a veterinarian. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Many human infections are transmitted through contact with animals (zoonoses), including household pets. Although pet ownership is common in most countries and non-pet owners may have frequent contact with pets, there is limited knowledge of the public’s pet contact practices and awareness of zoonotic disease risks from pets. The objective of this study was to characterize the general public’s knowledge, attitudes and risks related to pet ownership and animal contact in southern Ontario, Canada. Methods A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to individuals at two multi-physician clinics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada during 2010. A single adult from each household was invited to participate in the study. Results Seventy five percent (641/853) of individuals approached completed the questionnaire. Pet ownership and contact were common; 64% of participants had a pet in their household and 37% of non-pet owning households had a member with at least weekly animal contact outside the home. Pet ownership was high (55%) for households with individuals at higher risk for infections (i.e., < 5 yrs, ≥ 65 yrs, immunocompromised). Most respondents (64%) indicated that they had never received information regarding pet-associated disease risks. When given a list of 11 infectious pathogens, respondents were only able to correctly classify just over half on their potential to be transmitted from pets to people (mean 6.4); independently, pet owners and those who recalled receiving information in the past about this topic were able to make significantly more correct identifications. Pet (36%) and non-pet owning households (10%) reported dog or cat bites or scratches during the preceding year. Households with individuals at higher risk for an infection did not differ from the remaining households regarding their perceived disease risk of pets, zoonotic disease knowledge, recall of being asked by their medical provider if they owned any pets, or recall of having received information regarding pet-associated disease risks and preventive measures. Conclusions These results suggest that there is a need for accessible zoonotic disease information for both pet and non-owning households, with additional efforts made by veterinary, human and public health personnel. Immediate educational efforts directed toward households with individuals at higher risk to infections are especially needed.
    BMC Public Health 07/2012; 12(1):553. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-553 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eläinlääketieteellisten biotieteiden osasto/mikrobiologia Kissa voi välittää ihmiseen useita eri tauteja. Tällaisia luonnollisesti selkärankaisesta eläinlajista ihmiseen siirtyviä tauteja ja tartuntoja kutsutaan zoonooseiksi. Zoonoosien aiheuttajiin kuuluu muun muassa erilaisia bakteereita, viruksia, sieniä ja loisia, ja ne voivat siirtyä ihmisen ja eläimen välillä suoraan tai välillisesti. Kissan välittämät zoonoosit voivat tarttua ihmiseen usean eri tartuntareitin kautta, muun muassa ihmisen suuhun kulkeutuvan kissan ulosteen välityksellä eli feko-oraalisesti, terveen tai vaurioituneen ihon tai limakalvon kautta, hengitysteitse tai yhteisen vektorin välityksellä. Useimmat zoonoosit voivat tarttua ihmiseen immuunipuolustuksen tasosta riippumatta, mutta kliininen sairaus on immuunipuutteisilla eli vastustuskyvyltään heikommilla ihmisillä tavallisesti vakavampi. Suomessa tavatuista kissan välittämistä zoonooseista merkittävimpiä ovat muun muassa toksoplasmoosi, toksokariaasi, silsasieni-infektiot, tularemia eli jänisrutto, lehmärokko, hilsepunkkitartunta ja kissanpuremien aiheuttamat haavainfektiot. Haavainfektioiden aiheuttajista Pasteurella multocida ja Capnocytophaga canimorsus voivat aiheuttaa puremahaavan kautta vakavan sairastumisen etenkin immuunipuutteiselle ihmiselle. On paljon kissan välittämiä zoonooseja, joita ei toistaiseksi suomalaisilla kissoilla tavata. Tämä tilanne voi lisääntyneiden ulkomaisten kissakontaktien kautta ja ilmastonmuutoksen myötä muuttua. Esimerkiksi klassista rabiesta tavataan Suomen itäisissä naapurimaissa ja useissa muissa Euroopan valtioissa, joten vastustustyö on tärkeää Suomen rabiesvapauden säilyttämiseksi. Toinen esimerkki vakavasta, tunnetusta taudista, jonka epidemiologiassa kissallakin on rooli, on rutto. Alueilla, joilla tavataan yleisesti kirppuja, on kissanraapimatauti merkittävä kissan välittämä zoonoosi. Niin eläinten kuin ihmistenkin terveydenhuollolla on tärkeä rooli zoonoosien vastustustyössä. Eläinlääkäreiden antama lemmikinomistajien asiallinen valistus olisi suotavaa, jotta omistajat oppisivat tiedostamaan riskit ja ehkäisemään zoonoosien leviämistä toimintatavoillaan. Monet kissojen ihmisiin välittämistä zoonooseista tarttuvat todennäköisemmin metsästävän ulkokissan kautta kuin ravintonaan kypsennettyä valmisruokaa nauttivasta sisäkissasta. Zoonoosiriskeihin vaikuttavat myös kissan ja ihmisen yleinen terveydentila sekä immuniteetti. Sekä kissan että ihmisen matkailu lisäävät osaltaan erilaisten zoonoosien todennäköisyyttä. Useita kissan välittämistä zoonooseista voidaan ehkäistä yksinkertaisilla toimilla, kuten huolellisella käsi- ja elintarvikehygienialla, kissan terveydenhuollosta huolehtimalla ja sen jätösten asianmukaisella hävittämisellä.
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Glenda Bingham