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Perceptions and attitudes of swine exhibitors towards recommendations for reducing zoonotic transmission of influenza A viruses
- Nolting, Jacqueline M., Scheer, Scott D., Bowman, Andrew S.
- Zoonoses and public health 2019 v.66 no.4 pp. 401-405
- Influenza A virus, attitudes and opinions, barns, cross-sectional studies, disease transmission, drinking, exhibitions, human behavior, influenza, risk, surveys, swine, swine production, volunteers, youth, zoonoses, United States
- Since 2011, there have been 468 cases of variant influenza A virus (IAV) reported in the United States, many of which were associated with youth swine exhibition. In an effort to mitigate risk associated with exposure to IAV in swine, the “Measures to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Swine Exhibitions” (MtM) was developed for show organizers, volunteers and exhibitors. These recommendations are updated annually; however, it is not clear if youth swine exhibitors are aware of the recommendations; support the recommendations; and would be willing to practise recommended behaviours. Therefore, a cross‐sectional survey method was used to assess swine exhibitor perceptions and their adoption of swine production practices aimed at reducing the transmission of IAV at the human–animal interface. In addition, the survey asked participants their state of residence and the number of shows they would attend in 2017. In all, 155 participants who showed swine on a regular basis (x̅ = 11 shows per year), from at least 18 states within the US, completed the survey. At least, 67% of participants believed each statement was a good recommendation, with 6 of 11 recommendations being supported by >90% of participants. When asked if recommendations could be implemented, 65%–94% of respondents agreed, and 21%–89% of participants had already implemented each recommendation, respectively. Although significant efforts have been made to increase signage at swine exhibitions (warning of risks associated with eating/drinking in animal areas), a majority of respondents report eating/drinking in the barn and are unwilling to change their behaviours. This study provides evidence that developing and disseminating static recommendations to reduce zoonotic disease transmission is not enough to change human behaviour to prevent future variant IAV infections associated with swine exhibitions.