Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices regarding Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome in Endemic Areas of Anhui Province, Eastern China

Lei Gong Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China;

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Dandan Song Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China;

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Yong Lyu Lu’an Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Lu’an, China;

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Jinsheng Wang Anqing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Anqing, China;

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Yong Zhang Chuzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chuzhou, China;

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Ming Yang Xuancheng Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xuancheng, China

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Jiabing Wu Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China;

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Li Ma Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China;

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Xuewei Xu Chuzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chuzhou, China;

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Weilin Gao Anqing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Anqing, China;

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Bin Su Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China;

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This study aimed to assess baseline knowledge, attitudes, and practices about severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) and identify the target population for health education programs in endemic areas of Anhui, China. This cross-sectional study was conducted from May to June 2017. Of 752 participants, 383 (50.9%) were from Nanqiao District, 397 (52.8%) were female, and 430 (57.2%) were farmers; 37.4% had heard about SFTS, but knowledge of symptoms and signs including fever (34.2%), leukopenia (8.0%), and thrombocytopenia (10.1%) was low. Only 12.1% knew that SFTS virus is transmitted by ticks, 9.4% realized that the blood and body fluid of SFTS are infectious, and only 38.2% thought that the tick should be paralyzed using medical alcohol or iodine. Meanwhile, 61.3% wore long-sleeve clothes, whereas 20.2% used repellents. Median scores for knowledge, attitudes, and practices, and the total score were 4.0, 6.0, 5.0, and 16.0, respectively. Knowledge was influenced by region (OR = 0.632, 95% CI: 0.399–0.999), education (OR = 0.516, 95% CI: 0.434–0.612), gender (OR = 1.865, 95% CI: 1.165–2.987), and age (OR = 3.406, 95% CI: 2.345–4.947). Education was a predictor of lack of appreciation of infection risk (OR = 0.519, 95% CI: 0.449–0.599) and practice (OR = 0.481, 95% CI: 0.396–0.584). Our findings indicate that SFTS-related health education programs are required for females; participants from Qianshan Prefecture; those with an occupation of farmer, retiree, houseworker, or unemployed; elderly participants; and those with low education. Large-scale sustainable health education programs focusing on the target populations are urgently needed in endemic areas.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Bin Su, Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No.12560, Fanhua Rd., Economic and Technological Development District, Hefei 230601, China. E-mail: sub602@sina.com

Financial support: This study was supported by a grant from Anhui Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission (2017jk004), a grant of Anhui Provincial International Scientific Collaboration Program (1503062008), and a grant from National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China (201202006).

Authors’ addresses: Lei Gong, Dandan Song, Jiabing Wu, Li Ma, and Bin Su, Anhui Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hefei, China, E-mails: gong0516@sina.com, dandansodan@163.com, wjb0386@163.com, mali@ahcdc.com.cn, and sub602@sina.com. Yong Lyu, Lu’an Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Lu’an, China, E-mail: lyong@lacdc.com.cn. Jinsheng Wang and Weilin Gao, Anqing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Anqing, China, E-mails: aqcdcwjs@126.com and aqcdcjck@126.com. Yong Zhang and Xuewei Xu, Chuzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chuzhou, China, E-mails: zhangy751@163.com and xsxbss@sohu.com. Ming Yang, Xuancheng Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xuancheng, China, E-mail: xcjkym@163.com.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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