Human exposure to live poultry and psychological and behavioral responses to influenza A(H7N9), China

Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Aug;20(8):1296-305. doi: 10.3201/eid2008.131821.


To investigate human exposure to live poultry and changes in risk perception and behavior after the April 2013 influenza A(H7N9) outbreak in China, we surveyed 2,504 urban residents in 5 cities and 1,227 rural residents in 4 provinces and found that perceived risk for influenza A(H7N9) was low. The highest rate of exposure to live poultry was reported in Guangzhou, where 47% of those surveyed reported visiting a live poultry market > or =1 times in the previous year. Most (77%) urban respondents reported that they visited live markets less often after influenza A(H7N9) cases were first identified in China in March 2013, but only 30% supported permanent closure of the markets to control the epidemic. In rural areas, 48% of respondents reported that they raised backyard poultry. Exposure to live commercial and private poultry is common in urban and rural China and remains a potential risk factor for human infection with novel influenza viruses.

Keywords: China; behavioral; exposure; influenza; influenza A(H7N9); live poultry; psychological; respiratory infections; survey; transmission; viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Behavior*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cities
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / psychology*
  • Influenza, Human / transmission
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poultry*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult