Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of French Travelers from Marseille Regarding Rabies Risk and Prevention
Version of Record online: 23 MAR 2009
© 2009 International Society of Travel Medicine
Journal of Travel Medicine
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 107–111, March/April 2009
How to Cite
Altmann, M., Parola, P., Delmont, J., Brouqui, P. and Gautret, P. (2009), Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of French Travelers from Marseille Regarding Rabies Risk and Prevention. Journal of Travel Medicine, 16: 107–111. doi: 10.1111/j.1708-8305.2008.00283.x
- Issue online: 23 MAR 2009
- Version of Record online: 23 MAR 2009
Objective To assess the awareness of the mode of rabies transmission, travel-associated rabies risk, and adequate preventive measures among French travelers.
Methods Three hundred travelers were administered a detailed questionnaire prior to pretravel advice, addressing their knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) with respect to animal-related injuries and rabies risk. Two hundred and nine were administered a post-travel questionnaire by telephone, addressing the occurrence of contacts with animals during travel.
Results Countries visited were at risk for rabies in 84.7% of the cases. Only 6.7% of travelers knew that the risk of rabies was important, while 40.1% considered it moderate or low. Dog bites appeared to be a well-known mode of transmission of rabies. By contrast, licks on broken skin or contamination of the mucous membrane with saliva (10%) and scratches (0.7%) were rarely known. Cats (23.7%), foxes (28.3%), monkeys (10.3%), and bats (5.0%) were rarely mentioned as possible rabies vectors. Only 50.7% of travelers were aware of the preventive vaccination. Approximately 57.6% of individuals traveling to rabies–endemic countries presented to the clinic less than 21 days before departing, rendering a complete preventive vaccination against rabies unfeasible. Immediate washing of the injury with water and soap was mentioned by only 3.0% of individuals and self-disinfection with antiseptics by 21.3%. Of those who traveled in a rabies-risk country, 3.8% declared that they had been attacked by animals; however, none was injured. Animal encounters were frequent with dogs (53.8%), monkeys (39.5%), bats (17.9%), and cats (15.4%).
Conclusions The KAP of French travelers with regard to travel-associated rabies risk need to be improved, particularly regarding the prevention of animal bites, postbite measures, and their urgency.