Perceptions of capacity for infectious disease control and prevention to meet the challenges of dengue fever in the face of climate change: A survey among CDC staff in Guangdong Province, China

Michael Xiaoliang Tong, Alana Hansen, Scott Hanson-Easey, Jianjun Xiang, Scott Cameron, Qiyong Liu, Xiaobo Liu, Yehuan Sun, Philip Weinstein, Gil Soo Han, Craig Williams, Peng Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Dengue fever is an important climate-sensitive mosquito-borne viral disease that poses a risk to half the world's population. The disease is a major public health issue in China where in 2014 a major outbreak occurred in Guangdong Province. This study aims to gauge health professionals' perceptions about the capacity of infectious disease control and prevention to meet the challenge of dengue fever in the face of climate change in Guangdong Province, China. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was administered among staff in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) in Guangdong Province. Data analysis was undertaken using descriptive methods and logistic regression. Results: In total, 260 questionnaires were completed. Most participants (80.7%) thought climate change would have a negative effect on population health, and 98.4% of participants reported dengue fever had emerged or re-emerged in China in recent years. Additionally, 74.9% of them indicated that the capability of the CDCs to detect infectious disease outbreak/epidemic at an early stage was excellent; 86.3% indicated laboratories could provide diagnostic support rapidly; and 83.1% believed levels of current staff would be adequate in the event of a major outbreak. Logistic regression analysis showed higher levels of CDCs were perceived to have better capacity for infectious disease control and prevention. Only 26.8% of participants thought they had a good understanding of climate change, and most (85.4%) thought they needed more information about the health impacts of climate change. Most surveyed staff suggested the following strategies to curb the public health impact of infectious diseases in relation to climate change: primary prevention measures, strengthening the monitoring of infectious diseases, the ability to actively forecast disease outbreaks by early warning systems, and more funding for public health education programs. Conclusion: Vigilant disease and vector surveillance, preventive practice and health promotion programs will likely be significant in addressing the threat of dengue fever in the future. Further efforts are needed to strengthen the awareness of climate change among health professionals, and to promote relevant actions to minimize the health burden of infectious diseases in a changing climate. Results will be critical for policy makers facing the current and future challenges associated with infectious disease prevention and control in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Capacity building
  • Climate change
  • Dengue fever
  • Infectious disease control and prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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