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Knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers regarding malaria risk and prevention


Weber, Roger; Schlagenhauf, Patricia; Amsler, Lorenz; Steffen, Robert (2003). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers regarding malaria risk and prevention. Journal of Travel Medicine, 10(4):219-224.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Swiss business travelers with regard to malaria. METHODS: Questionnaires printed in three languages were distributed by employers, travel agencies and tropical medicine specialists to business travelers with destinations in malaria endemic countries. RESULTS: In total, 401 questionnaires were evaluated. Thirty-three percent visited high-risk areas, 27% visited low-risk areas, and 40% visited only malaria-free areas within endemic countries. Among the investigated business travelers, 6% had experienced malaria infection, and 29% had previously had blood smears tested for malaria at least once. Almost all business travelers, 95%, knew that mosquitoes are the main vectors of malaria. The infection risk between dusk and dawn was known to 71%, and the incubation time to 36%. Apart from fever (99%) and headache (63%), other malaria symptoms were known to only 13% to 36% of the travelers. If signs of illness such as fever and headache occurred, 63% would react adequately and seek medical advice within 24 h. Only 16% of the travelers to African high-risk areas followed the recommended behavior concerning anti-mosquito and antimalarial strategies; 31% of those on trips to low-risk areas used an adequate protective strategy. Of the business travelers using chemoprophylaxis during travel, just 50% continued intake post travel, as requested, after leaving the endemic area. CONCLUSIONS: Business travelers are well informed regarding the mode of transmission and the risk of malaria at specific destinations but tend to comply poorly with anti-mosquito and chemoprophylactic strategies. The knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers with regard to malaria prevention need to be improved.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Swiss business travelers with regard to malaria. METHODS: Questionnaires printed in three languages were distributed by employers, travel agencies and tropical medicine specialists to business travelers with destinations in malaria endemic countries. RESULTS: In total, 401 questionnaires were evaluated. Thirty-three percent visited high-risk areas, 27% visited low-risk areas, and 40% visited only malaria-free areas within endemic countries. Among the investigated business travelers, 6% had experienced malaria infection, and 29% had previously had blood smears tested for malaria at least once. Almost all business travelers, 95%, knew that mosquitoes are the main vectors of malaria. The infection risk between dusk and dawn was known to 71%, and the incubation time to 36%. Apart from fever (99%) and headache (63%), other malaria symptoms were known to only 13% to 36% of the travelers. If signs of illness such as fever and headache occurred, 63% would react adequately and seek medical advice within 24 h. Only 16% of the travelers to African high-risk areas followed the recommended behavior concerning anti-mosquito and antimalarial strategies; 31% of those on trips to low-risk areas used an adequate protective strategy. Of the business travelers using chemoprophylaxis during travel, just 50% continued intake post travel, as requested, after leaving the endemic area. CONCLUSIONS: Business travelers are well informed regarding the mode of transmission and the risk of malaria at specific destinations but tend to comply poorly with anti-mosquito and chemoprophylactic strategies. The knowledge, attitudes and practices of business travelers with regard to malaria prevention need to be improved.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:29 Jun 2009 12:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:17
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1195-1982
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
PubMed ID:12946300

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