Original Article

Avian Flu: How Informed are Children in Greece?

Authors: Ioanna Vasileiou, MD, George Marinos, MD, Athanasios Katsargyris, MD, Chris Georgiou, MD, Kostas Vlasis, MD, Gerasimos Siasos, MD, Elias Gialafos, MD, Chris Klonaris, MD, Kostas Konstantopoulos, MD, Athanasios Giannopoulos, MD


Objectives: The current cluster of avian influenza outbreaks in birds has occurred in areas where humans live in proximity to poultry. Dissemination of accurate information may be the cornerstone for proper community preparation. In the herein presented study, we attempted to asses the information level among Greek children regarding avian flu.

Methods: A descriptive study was carried out in 2006 in ten Greek prefectures to determine the information level among students about transmission ways, symptoms and prevention measures of avian flu.

Results: A total of 1400 Greek students participated in the study. Approximately 75% of the students reported to know what bird flu is and 53% reported to know that there has been at least one case of avian flu in Greece. More than half (55.6%) reported that an effective vaccine against avian flu does exist; of the students asked, 47% reported that avian flu can be transmitted from human to human whereas 21.4% believed that humans can suffer from avian flu. Media contribution in providing information was very high among students.

Conclusion: The level of information about avian flu among Greek students was found inadequate especially in some questions regarding serious aspects of avian flu. This study highlights the need for adaptation of health programs in Greek schools, which should include the provision of accurate information.

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