• Article

Bird flu Understanding the social and cultural factors that will impede the prevention, treatment and containment of an outbreak

Cases of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in humans have resulted mainly from contact with sick poultry. Should the virus mutate, however, thereby enabling transmission between humans, pandemic avian influenza would rapidly ensue. Much of the risk governing animal-to-human transmission of the virus depends upon cultural factors located in poultry market exposure, traditional animal husbandry methods, and healthcare and health-seeking behaviour. In the event of a viral mutation, these cultural factors will correspondingly influence human-to-human transmission risk. Given that social and cultural risk factors for transmission are local and specific to communities, this poses a problem for businesses attempting to address risk factors specific to their workforce. This paper recommends that businesses perform evidence-based assessments of their workforce, to survey individuals regarding the aforementioned cultural factors. Businesses should work with local health authorities to use these assessments for culturally-specific health messaging to decrease employee risk for transmission of avian influenza in its zoonotic stage, as well as in the event of a human pandemic. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] . Copyright of Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning is the property of Henry Stewart Publications LLP and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.).

Citation

Anastario, M., & Lawry, L. (2007). Bird flu: Understanding the social and cultural factors that will impede the prevention, treatment and containment of an outbreak. Journal of business continuity & emergency planning, 1(4), 369 - 379.