Background: Zika virus (ZIKV), a vector-borne virus affecting a large number of people, has today become a major public health concern in the developed and developing countries worldwide.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of ZIKV among dental practitioners residing in Tricity area (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali), India.
Subjects and methods: A total of 412 private dental practitioners were randomly sampled of whom 254 (61.6%) responded to participate in this cross-sectional survey. A self-structured, closed-ended questionnaire was administered to each participant to record demographic and professional characteristics followed by their knowledge regarding ZIKV. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS Version 20 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY). The results were expressed in percentages. Multivariable linear regression analysis was carried out to assess the association of participant's demographics and professional characteristics with knowledge.
Results: The sample consisted of 152 (59.9%) male and 102 (40.1%) female practitioners. Majority of the practitioners belonged to the age group of 25-34 years (66.1%). High knowledge was reported by only 38.2% of the practitioners. A statistically significant difference was seen when mean knowledge scores were compared with the qualification of the participants (P = 0.04), with postgraduates having more knowledge than graduates regarding ZIKV. Most of the knowledge of the practitioners came from television (37.8%) while journals only represented 4.7% of the total information gained.
Conclusion: ZIKV infection, a new public health emergency, needs to be addressed urgently. All health care professionals should have adequate knowledge of the virus and be conversant with necessary precautionary measures to be taken making it imperative that dental practitioners strive to continually update their knowledge from time to time.