Background: China is at greatest risk of the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 due to its huge population and high residential density. The unclear comprehension and negative attitudes towards the emerging infectious disease among general population may lead to unnecessary worry and even panic. The objective of this study was to investigate the Chinese public response to H1N1 pandemic and provide baseline data to develop public education campaigns in response to future outbreaks.
Methods: A close-ended questionnaire developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention was applied to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 among 10,669 responders recruited from seven urban and two rural areas of China sampled by using the probability proportional to size (PPS) method.
Results: 30.0% respondents were not clear whether food spread H1N1 virus and. 65.7% reported that the pandemic had no impact on their life. The immunization rates of the seasonal flu and H1N1vaccine were 7.5% and 10.8%, respectively. Farmers and those with lower education level were less likely to know the main transmission route (cough or talk face to face). Female and those with college and above education had higher perception of risk and more compliance with preventive behaviors. Relationships between knowledge and risk perception (OR = 1.69; 95%CI 1.54-1.86), and knowledge and practices (OR = 1.57; 95%CI 1.42-1.73) were found among the study subjects. With regard to the behavior of taking up A/H1N1 vaccination, there are several related factors found in the current study population, including the perception of life disturbed (OR = 1.29; 95%CI 1.11-1.50), the safety of A/H1N1 vaccine (OR = 0.07; 95%CI 0.04-0.11), the knowledge of free vaccination policy (OR = 7.20; 95%CI 5.91-8.78), the state's priority vaccination strategy(OR = 1.33; 95%CI 1.08-1.64), and taking up seasonal influenza vaccine behavior (OR = 4.69; 95%CI 3.53-6.23).
Conclusions: This A/H1N1 epidemic has not caused public panic yet, but the knowledge of A/H1N1 in residents is not optimistic. Public education campaign may take the side effects of vaccine and the knowledge about the state's vaccination strategy into account.