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Teachers' risk perception and needs in addressing infectious disease outbreak
journal contributionposted on 2010-10-01, 00:00 authored by E Wong, M Cheng, Sing Lo
The outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus has led to numerous precautionary school closures in several countries. No research is available on the school teachers’ perceptions as a health protective resource in controlling communicable disease outbreaks. The purposes of this study were to examine the risk perception, the perceived understanding of preventive measures and contingency plans, and the needs of school teachers before the imminent outbreak of H1N1. This survey was conducted with 1,169 Hong Kong school teachers before school closures due to the H1N1 outbreak. The results showed that the teachers were well aware of H1N1 but were still worried about the spread of H1N1 infection. The teachers’ worries depended on their psychological reaction, the adequacy of the control measures, government support in providing infectious disease knowledge, perceived understanding of preventive measures and contingency plans, students and parents’ awareness, and the need for support from health professionals.