Sample Size: 29 people, age ranging from students to middle-aged adults in Singapore.
Aim of Survey: The survey we conducted could actually be described as more of a mini-quiz. This was because through this survey we hoped to find out the general level of knowledge of the public in the topic, and that through this we could make an analysis or judgement on whether this was enough to prepare for possibly upcoming epidemic. Questions asked were thus more knowledge-based than opinionated questions.
1. Which group of organisms is the natural/original carrier of the influenza virus?
Option A: Mammals = 0 people
Option B: Wild Birds = 19 people
Option C: Chickens = 7 people
Option D: Bacteria = 3 people
2. What is the extent/spread of the current bird flu situation?
Option A: South-east Asia, China = 5 people
Option B: South-east Asia, Europe and America = 4 people
Option C: Middle East, Asia = 3 people
Option D: Eastern Europe, South-east Asia, China , Russia = 17 people
3. In general, how is Bird Flu transmitted to humans currently?
Option A: Direct contact with infected live poultry and faeces = 1 people
Option B: Consumption of cooked poultry products over 80 degrees Celsius = 28 people
Option C: Direct contact with other people infected with the disease = 0 people
4. Until now, are there any proven cases of human-to-human transmission of the avian influenza virus? (Ans: A)
Option A: Yes = 5 people
Option B: No = 24 people
5 (Open-ended question) In preparation for a pandemic, what supplies should you stockpile at home?
Correct answers are: food, general medicine, daily necessities (toilet paper,
None of the above answers = 4 people
1 of the above answers = 23 people
2 of the above answers = 2 people
All of the above answers = 0 people
6. (Open-ended question) List 3 countries that are recent/current hotspots of Avian flu infection.
Accepted Answers: Korea, Viet Nam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, China, Turkey, Romania,
Croatia, Iraq, Mongolia
None of the above answers = 5 people
1 of the above answers = 7 people
2 of the above answers = 8 people
3 of the above answers = 9 people
7. What precautions should you take when visiting these countries?
None of the above answers = 12 people
Accepted answers: vaccination, avoid direct contact with poultry
At least one of the above answers = 17 people
In classifying the questions, we feel that questions 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 should be highlighted as more important compared to the other two, for these were questions that involved key understandings for self-protection against avian influenza. Questions that concerned the spread of infection of avian influenza in the world (Qns 2, 6 and 7) were important as the risk of bird flu infection should be considered in travel plans and precautions should be taken when visiting these places. Questions 3 and 5 highlight general precautions people should take in their daily life in preparation for a pandemic. The other two questions were more of general background knowledge that might reflect how much people have read up on this virus which may concern their livelihood.
In all, we feel that the general level of knowledge in the topic was not very high, but it was there. The majority of results were positive for questions 2, 6, and 7, with most of the negative results coming from school children. This shows that the Singaporean public, at least the adults, were well informed the general areas/spread of infection are able to protect themselves and their children by avoiding these places in their travel plans. Question 3 reflected almost completely negative results, however putting things in context, where Singaporeans lived in a small developed country with only a few high-tech poultry farms that are not open for visiting and with no dirty backyard farms and the like, it was expected that we would be more concerned about the consumption of poultry products rather than contact with poultry which was not part and parcel of our daily live as compared to people living in other less developed countries like Vietnam and Thailand. What was alarming however was the results from question 5, as the knowledge tested was important in preparation for a pandemic where people would be quarantined and kept at home, and supermarkets would be closed down temporarily, cutting off people's access to such needed supplies.
From this survey, we can conclude that the people in our own society were rather well informed by the media on the global situation with regards to avian influenza, however more needs to be done by the government in educating individuals in taking precautions and preparing for an avian flu pandemic.