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Prev Vet Med. 2009 Jul 1;90(1-2):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2009.03.008. Epub 2009 Apr 18.

Disease awareness, information retrieval and change in biosecurity routines among pig farmers in association with the first PRRS outbreak in Sweden.

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SVA, National Veterinary Institute, Department of Disease Control and Epidemiology, Uppsala 751 89, Sweden.


Reaching farmers with information is important when eradicating outbreaks of contagious diseases, the actions they take related to contacts and biosecurity, as well as early notification of disease can have a significant effect on limiting the spread of disease. The aim of this study was to investigate Swedish pig farmers' disease awareness, information retrieval and if they change their biosecurity routines during an outbreak of an exotic infectious disease, using the experience from the first outbreak of PRRS in Sweden in 2007. Data were collected through a questionnaire to 153 farmers. Our findings indicate that written information which was sent to all farmers was not sufficient. Herd size, as an indicator for the type of farmer, was significantly associated with awareness. Farmers with medium or large herds were more aware there had been an outbreak (OR 32.3, p=0.001), of the means of spread and the signs of disease, and they were more active in information search compared to farmers with small herds. Closeness to the outbreak was important for motivating farmers to actively search for information. The results from this study could be useful when planning information campaigns during future outbreaks and when modelling disease outbreaks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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