Knowledge and practice regarding bat-borne diseases among local residents in semi-urban area of central Thailand
Purpose - Bats can cause serious diseases which impact on public health. However, information on knowledge and practice regarding bat-borne diseases is still lacking generally. This study was conducted to determine the level of knowledge and practice related to bat-borne infections and to assess the potential risk for bat-borne diseases among at risk population.
Design/methodology/approach - A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to June 2018 among individuals, aged at least 18 years old, and living in five villages nearby a flying fox roost in Nakhon Pathom province of the central Thailand. The respondents were recruited through a multi-stage sampling procedure. Face-to-face interview was conducted using a structured questionnaire. Bivariate analyses and multiple linear regression analysis were performed to explore factors associated with knowledge among the samples.
Findings - From the total of 272 respondents participated in this study, there were only 30.5% of respondents correctly answered that bats can transfer diseases; and there were no respondents ever heard of Nipah virus disease. Only five respondents (1.8%) reported a history of practices related to human-bat interaction. Multiple regression analysis showed that a history of seeing bats in or around a house was significantly associated with higher knowledge score (p=0.002).
Originality/value - This study showed that targeted population living in at risk area had limited knowledge on bat-borne infection. Educational intervention should be planned and implemented in the area in order to reduce the future risk of bat-borne disease outbreaks.
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