Perceptions and risky behaviors associated with Leptospirosis in an endemic area in a village of Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand
Background: Leptospirosis, a disease caused by Leptospira species, a spirochaete bacterium that can develop in an appropriate environment and/or grow in human and/or animal hosts, is a serious problem for the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.
Objective: To investigate people’s perceptions and behavioral risks regarding leptospirosis infection.
Methods: The cross-sectional descriptive study collected data in May, 2013. Data on individuals’ perceptions and risky behaviors concerning leptospirosis were collected from 104 completed questionnaires.
Results: Regarding perceptions of leptospirosis, we found them to be at a high level (97.1%) and risky behaviors regarding leptospirosis were reported at a moderate level (74.0%). The study found no correlation between perceptions and risky behaviors regarding leptospirosis (r 0.186, p-value 0.059).
Conclusion: This study suggest that people in these areas have good knowledge about leptospirosis. However, some people have risky behavior associated with leptospirosis. Thus, a behavioral change campaign should be promoted to encourage people awareness of the dangers of such behavior.
Keywords: Perceptions, risky behaviors, leptospirosis