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Volume 13, Number 11—November 2007

Dispatch

Medical Students and Pandemic Influenza

Benjamin Herman*, Rhonda J. Rosychuk*, Tracey Bailey*, Robert Lake*, Olive Yonge*, and Thomas J. Marrie*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;

Main Article

Table 1

Knowledge of medical students about influenza spread, prevention, treatment, likelihood of infection, and outcome of such infection*

Survey item No. (%)
Influenza spread through
Close contact with infected person 287 (81.1)
Blood transfusion 88 (24.9)
Sexual contact 75 (21.2)
Cough/sneeze from infected person 338 (95.5)
Touching door knobs 263 (74.3)
Contact w/infected wild birds, chickens
182 (51.4)
Influenza prevention
Nothing can prevent pandemic influenza 5 (1.4)
Hand washing 331 (93.5)
Cover mouth when coughing/sneezing 289 (81.6)
Vaccination 257 (72.6)
Vitamins and herbal supplements 47 (13.3)
Antiviral drugs 121 (34.2)
Antibiotics 14 (4.0)
Quarantine 241 (68.1)
Staying home/avoiding public places 253 (71.5)
Moving to area with no influenza 56 (15.8)
Wearing protective equipment in public 211 (59.6)
Eating sauerkraut
8 (2.3)
Treatment
Nothing can treat pandemic influenza 16 (4.5)
Antibiotics 28 (7.9)
Antibacterial drugs 208 (58.8)
Vaccination 43 (12.1)
Bed rest 275 (77.7)
Fluids 280 (79.1)
Complementary medicine 19 (5.4)
Chicken soup
66 (18.6)
Likelihood of infection if pandemic influenza is in Edmonton
Very unlikely 9 (2.5)
Likely or very likely
146 (41.2)
Likelihood (likely or very likely) of the following outcomes if you have pandemic influenza
Won’t miss school or work 42 (11.9)
Will miss some school or work 251 (70.9)
Hospitalization but will recover 79 (22.3)
Death 16 (4.5)

*For spread, prevention, and treatment, right-hand column indicates positive response to item or statement. Multiple responses were possible within each category. For likelihood, right-hand column indicates responses for each category on a 5-point Likert-like scale ranging from “very unlikely” to “very likely.”

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