Knowledge and Awareness about Nipah Virus Infection among Dentists and Dental Students in Chennai:A Cross Sectional Study
Background: Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic epidemic that has gained worldwide attention due to its high pathogenic potential, case fatality rate and lack of therapeutics or vaccines. Considering the recent outbreaks in Kerala and the fact that it is potentially contagious through saliva, awareness is an absolute necessity among all health professionals including dentists.
Aim: To evaluate the knowledge and awareness regarding Nipah virus infection among dentists and dental students
Materials and Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 100 dentists and 100 dental students. A structured questionnaire comprising of 18 questions assessing knowledge and awareness about Nipah virus infection was distributed to the participating dentists and dental students through Google forms. Data obtained from both groups (dentists and dental students) were compared and analysed using SPSS software version 16.0.
Results: The results revealed that 92% of the respondents had heard about Nipah infection earlier. Social media was found to be the most common source of information among both dentists(41.7%) and dental students (39.8%).The mean (SD) score obtained were 10.8±2.6 for dentists and 8.9±3.0 for dental students. The dentists were considerably more knowledgeable and aware of Nipah infection than dental students and the difference was statistically significant (p< 0.05).
Conclusion: Our study is one of the first of its kind to evaluate the knowledge and awareness about Nipah virus infection among dental professionals. Continuing education programs should be conducted among dental professionals and students to improve awareness as well as to ensure protection of personnel and prevent spread of infection.
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