Changes in poultry handling behavior and poultry mortality reporting among rural Cambodians in areas affected by HPAI/H5N1.

Van Kerkhove, MD; Ly, S; Guitian, J; Holl, D; San, S; Mangtani, P; Ghani, A; Vong, S; (2009) Changes in poultry handling behavior and poultry mortality reporting among rural Cambodians in areas affected by HPAI/H5N1. PLoS One, 4 (7). e6466. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI:

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BACKGROUND: Since 2004, 21 highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 outbreaks in domestic poultry and eight human cases have been confirmed in Cambodia. As a result, a large number of avian influenza education campaigns have been ongoing in provinces in which H5N1outbreaks have occurred in humans and/or domestic poultry. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Data were collected from 1,252 adults >15 years old living in two southern provinces in Cambodia where H5N1 has been confirmed in domestic poultry and human populations using two cross-sectional surveys conducted in January 2006 and in November/December 2007. Poultry handling behaviors, poultry mortality occurrence and self-reported notification of suspect H5N1 poultry cases to animal health officials in these two surveys were evaluated. Our results demonstrate that although some at risk practices have declined since the first study, risky contact with poultry is still frequent. Improved rates of reporting poultry mortality were observed overall, but reporting to trained village animal health workers decreased by approximately 50%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although some improvements in human behavior have occurred, there are still areas--particularly with respect to the handling of poultry among children and the proper treatment of poultry and the surrounding household environment--that need to be addressed in public health campaigns. Though there were some differences in the sampling methods of the 2006 and 2007 surveys, our results illustrate the potential to induce considerable, potentially very relevant, behavioral changes over a short period of time.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 19649287
Web of Science ID: 268637600014


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