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.