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J Infect. Public perceptions and reactions to H7N9 in Mainland China.

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  • J Infect. Public perceptions and reactions to H7N9 in Mainland China.

    [Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

    J Infect. 2013 Jul 5. pii: S0163-4453(13)00182-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2013.06.014. [Epub ahead of print]

    Public perceptions and reactions to H7N9 in Mainland China.

    Goodwin R, Sun S.

    Source: (Psychology, University of Kent), Brunel University, UK. Electronic address:



    H7N9 poses major challenges for Chinese society. Early examination of public reactions to threat is critical for framing appropriate public health responses. We investigateinitial beliefs about the disease, knowledge, media use, anxiety, and behavioural responses to H7N9 METHODS: Randomly selected participants (N=637) from Mainland China completed an online questionnaire 3 weeks after the first case (response rate 92%). Items assessed risk representations and communications, personal values, mortality and health anxiety, understanding of symptomology, health seeking and preventive and avoidant behaviours.


    Despite moderately high anxiety, participants largely trusted official messages, particularly from Chinese officials. Respondents correctly identified symptoms of H7N9; 96% reported 1+ recommended behaviour change; other changes included avoiding poultry, crowds, and migrants, and cancelling travel. Worry was positively related to viewing some groups at enhanced risk, including the sexually active and migrants. 41% had already bought medicines due to the threat, although few (7%) were willing to self-quarantine if infected.


    Findings indicate some understanding of the virus and compliance with recommended behaviours. However they also suggest potential discrimination against some groups, and potential high burden on medical resources, particularly amongst the anxious.

    Copyright ? 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

    KEYWORDS: China, H7N9, behavior, discrimination, knowledge

    PMID: 23834972 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]