You can lead a horse to water..... why human behaviour is centralto effective control of emerging diseases

Melanie Taylor, Kingsley Agho, Navneet Dhand, Kathrin Schemann

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


The adoption of protective behaviours is subject to a variety of mediating factors. To ensure optimum compliance with disease control response it is important to understand what drives and inhibits such behaviours. The A/H1N1/09 "swine flu" pandemic has shown that public reaction to novel vaccinations, and low levels of perceived threat result in poor uptake of vaccination. Simply having a vaccine available is not enough to guarantee uptake. This presentation will compare two streams of data: one from public health, with data collected in 2007 and 2010 relating to population willingness to adopt protective health behaviours in the event of a future influenza pandemic, e.g. mask wearing and receiving vaccination, and a second from an emergency animal disease, with data collected during the 2007 equine influenza outbreak and a year later, and additional data collected in 2010 on biosecurity behaviour, e.g. hygiene and access control. Analysis of factors influencing the uptake of these behaviours identifies a range of common drivers and barriers. Lower levels of threat perception and fearfulness and low personal vulnerability, attitudes towards response effectiveness and past experience are important in current and future practices, as are a number of demographic factors. Understanding these differences allows planners and policy makers an opportunity to tailor information, messaging, and interventions to their target populations, and enables modellers to develop more realistic models. Low cost, non-pharmaceutical control measures are likely to continue to be the first line of defence in emerging diseases globally, the one common factor..? The human being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S152-S152
Number of pages1
Journal1st International One Health Congress Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational One Health Congress (1st : 2011) - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 14 Feb 201116 Feb 2011

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