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Public risk perception and attitudes towards live poultry markets before and after their closure due to influenza A(H7N9), Hong Kong, January-February 2014.

Abstract

Risk communication that promotes people's perceived risk of avian influenza associated with LPMs and the effectiveness of LPM closure in control of avian influenza outbreaks may improve support for permanent closure of LPMs.

Two population-based surveys were conducted before and after LPMs closed in January-February 2014, respectively. Adults were recruited using random digital dialing.

The study investigated public risk perception regarding influenza A(H7N9) and attitudes towards closure of live poultry markets (LPMs) before and after LPMs closed in Hong Kong.

In total, 670 and 1011 respondents completed the survey before and after closure of LPMs, respectively. Perceived susceptibility to H7N9 infection was low across surveys. Among respondents who completed the survey after LPMs closed, only 14.6% agreed that temporary closure of LPMs caused inconvenience to the daily life; 38.7% valued the Chinese tradition of live poultry consumption more than controlling the risk of avian influenza; 54.6% recognized greater risk of influenza epidemic associated with LPMs. Support for permanent closure of LPMs which was comparably low across surveys was strongly associated with perceived risk of avian influenza related to LPMs, the effectiveness of LPM closure in control of avian influenza and the inconvenience caused by closure.

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