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Knowledge and use of prevention measures for chikungunya virus among visitors — Virgin Islands National Park, 2015
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    27597388
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5079757
  • Funding:
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background

    In June 2014, the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) emerged in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), a location where tourists comprise the majority of the population during peak season (January–April). Limited information is available concerning visitors’ CHIKV awareness and prevention measures.

    Methods

    We surveyed a convenience sample of Virgin Islands National Park visitors aged ≥18 years. Respondents completed a questionnaire assessing CHIKV knowledge, attitudes, and practices; health information-seeking practices; and demographics.

    Results

    Of 783 persons contacted, 443 (57%) completed the survey. Fewer than half (208/441 [47%]) were aware of CHIKV. During trip preparation, 28% of respondents (126/443) investigated USVI-specific health concerns. Compared with persons unaware of CHIKV, CHIKV-aware persons were more likely to apply insect repellent (134/207 [65%] versus 111/231 [48%]; p < 0.001), wear long-sleeves and long pants (84/203 [41%] versus 57/227 [25%]; p < 0.001), and wear insect repellent-treated clothing (36/204 [18%] versus 22/227 [10%]; p = 0.02).

    Conclusions

    The majority of visitors surveyed did not research destination-related health concerns and were unaware of CHIKV. However, CHIKV awareness was associated with using multiple prevention measures to reduce disease risk. These findings underscore the importance of providing tourists with disease education upon destination arrival.