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Title: Perception and knowledge of the effect of climate change on infectious diseases within the general public: A multinational cross-sectional survey-based study
Author: van Wijk, Max
Naing, SoeYu
Díaz Franchy, Silvia
Heslop, Rhiannon T.
Novoa Lozano, Ignacio
Vila Estapé, Jordi
Ballesté Delpierre, Clara Celia
Keywords: Malalties infeccioses
Canvi climàtic
Communicable diseases
Climatic change
Issue Date: 5-Nov-2020
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: Infectious diseases are emerging and re-emerging due to climate change. Understanding how climate variability affects the transmission of infectious diseases is important for both researchers and the general public. Yet, the widespread knowledge of the general public on this matter is unknown, and quantitative research is still lacking. A survey was designed to assess the knowledge and perception of 1) infectious diseases, 2) climate change and 3) the effect of climate change on infectious diseases. Participants were recruited via convenience sampling, and an anonymous cross-sectional survey with informed consent was distributed to each participant. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed primarily focusing on the occupational background as well as nationality of participants. A total of 458 individuals participated in this study, and most participants were originally from Myanmar, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. Almost half (44%) had a background in natural sciences and had a higher level of knowledge on infectious diseases compared to participants with non-science background (mean score of 12.5 and 11.2 out of 20, respectively). The knowledge of the effect of climate change on infectious diseases was also significantly different between participants with and without a background in natural sciences (13.1 and 11.8 out of 20, respectively). The level of knowledge on various topics was highly correlated with nationality but not associated with age. The general population demonstrated a high awareness and strong knowledge of climate change regardless of their background in natural sciences. This study exposes a knowledge gap in the general public regarding the effect of climate change on infectious diseases, and highlights that different levels of knowledge are observed in groups with differing occupations and nationalities. These results may help to develop awareness interventions for the general public.
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It is part of: PLoS One, 2020, vol. 15, num. 11, p. e0241579
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Fonaments Clínics)
Articles publicats en revistes (ISGlobal)

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