Study: Pandemic Flu Fears Lead to Better Personal Hygiene

Fear of the H1N1 virus appears to be the driving factor behind the adoption of preventive behaviors, according to a study published in the June issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers studying the public response during the recent H1N1 outbreak in Hong Kong concluded that fear about the pandemic prompted residents to frequently wash hands and wear face-masks.

A team led by Joseph T. F. Lau, Ph.D., a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, investigated the prevalence of self-reported preventive behaviors in response to the influenza A/H1N1 epidemic in Hong Kong, including wearing facemasks regularly in public areas, wearing facemasks after the onset of influenza-like illness symptoms, and frequent hand-washing. Previous research shows that both frequent hand-washing and wearing facemasks can control the spread of influenza.

Results of the study, published with the title "Prevalence of preventive behaviors and associated factors during early phase of the H1N1 influenza epidemic," showed that 47 percent washed hands more than 10 times per day, 89 percent wore facemasks when having influenza-like illness, and 21.5 percent wore facemasks regularly in public areas.

The authors note that pandemic outbreaks "have had a sustained impact on personal hygiene and protective behaviors. Our study showed that people with a higher level of mental distress due to A/H1N1 were more likely to adopt some of the three preventive measures." They add that emerging infectious diseases "provide a window of opportunity for health education to improve personal hygiene."

According to the authors, these preventive behaviors can play an important role in controlling pandemic influenza, but they cautioned that there is a lack of data on their adoption by the public and see a need for more research.

AJIC, which provides peer-reviewed articles covering clinical topics as well as original research, is the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue