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Surveying TB and Zika Virus Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Behaviors amongst Migrant Workers in the US
The rapid spread of the Zika virus in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region and the association between Zika infection and serious birth defects has generated attention and concern among the public and policymakers. While efforts to study and respond to the Zika outbreak has focused on the LAC region, there have been limited efforts to engage with vulnerable populations within the continental United States.
The Zika virus is of concern for the Hispanic migrant farm worker population in the United States. Migrant farm workers and their families often face cultural, financial, immigration, educational, and other barriers that make it difficult for them to obtain health care services. Significant language and literacy barriers prevent Zika education initiatives from fully penetrating the migrant population.
To better understand community retention of both Zika virus and tuberculosis (TB) information in the Spanish-speaking migrant community, University Research Co., LLC's non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services, conducted a baseline knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices (KABP) survey in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Using a tablet-based survey developed in coordination with a wide array of stakeholders, trained Spanish-speaking migrants administered the survey to 100 participants in English and Spanish. The survey included quantitative questions with prescribed answer options and covered topics related to demographics, exposure to mosquitoes, health-seeking behaviors, beliefs surrounding pregnancy, and perceived risk of Zika virus infection.
Findings indicate that there is limited knowledge about how to prevent Zika virus infection with only 15% agreeing or strongly agreeing that it is a preventable disease. Of the 100 respondents, 72% cited a mosquito bite as the means of transmission but only 7% of respondents selected mosquito bites and unprotected sex with an infected person as transmission routes. There is a substantial gap in knowledge surrounding the transmission of Zika and potential means for protecting oneself.
Upon completion of each survey, data collection volunteers provided participants with Centers for Disease Control resources on TB and Zika virus exposure and health-seeking behaviors. The baseline assessment will inform subsequent interventions to increase knowledge of TB and Zika transmission modes, care-seeking behaviors, and the prevalence of exposure reduction measures amongst the Hispanic community in Lancaster, PA.