Epidemiology and Infection



SARS preventive and risk behaviours of Hong Kong air travellers


JOSEPH T. F. LAU a1c1, XILIN YANG a1, HIYI TSUI a1, ELLIE PANG a1 and JEAN H. KIM a1
a1 Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Article author query
lau j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
yang x   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tsui h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pang e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kim j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

This study aims to investigate Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-related behaviours of travellers returning to Hong Kong by air. A total of 820 travellers returning to Hong Kong by air were interviewed about their SARS-related behaviours in April 2003. Three quarters of the respondents wore a mask most/all of the time on board, 15% did so in public places at the travel destination. Perceived susceptibility to SARS at the destination predicted mask-wearing in public places and avoidance of crowded places, and perceived efficacy was a predictor for mask-wearing during flight. Approximately 16% of the respondents stated that they would delay their medical consultation for flu-like symptoms until returning to Hong Kong. Nearly 18·2% stated that they would not wear a mask in public places at the destination if they had flu-like symptoms. Education programmes, special services and effective thermal screening are required to minimize the chance of the spread of SARS by air travellers.

(Accepted February 9 2004)


Correspondence:
c1 Dr J. T. F. Lau, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 5/F, School of Public Health, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong.


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