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Pak J Pharm Sci. 2019 Jul;32(4(Supplementary)):1789-1796.

Awareness and perception of seasonal influenza (Flu) among health science and Non-Health science university students in Pakistan: A nationwide survey.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia/Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
2
Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
3
School of Pharmacy, Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia/Department of Pharmacy, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan.
4
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan.
5
Institute of Pharmacy, Lahore College for Women University, Jail Road, Lahore, Pakistan.
6
Departmetn of Urology and Infertility, Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
7
Department of Radiology, Emirates Hospital Jumeirah, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
8
Department of Orthopedic, Canadian Specialist Hospital, Abu Hail, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Abstract

Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral respiratory disorder. Prior knowledge of flu among general community is of paramount importance in order to mitigate its growing burden. In a pandemic, young adults are more likely to be infected increasing the potential for universities to be explosive disease outbreak centers. In this context, current study aims to assess the knowledge and perception of flu among university students from health sciences (HS) and non-HS background. Questionnaire-based cross sectional (August-December 2015) study was conducted among students of 65 universities across Pakistan. The students willing to participate were requested to fill out the self-administered questionnaire and responses were recorded and descriptively analyzed by SPSS. A total of 1694 students (age: 21.12 ± 2.13 years), 95% which belonged to age group 18-25 years, participated in the current study. Most of the participants (91.7%) had suffered from influenza during their life but only 55.7% correctly answered virus as causative agent of flu, while majority of participants, primarily from non-HS disciplines were not aware of flu cause. Very few participants (8.1%) believed that flu can cause death. About 20% students, mainly from non-HS disciplines reported that antibiotic can kill viruses. Similarly, 47.1% respondents agreed on the effectiveness of antibiotic in flu. A large proportion of study population preferred self-medication for influenza. Only 20.1% students were aware of influenza vaccine while majority of students (79.9%) from both disciplines reported that there is no such vaccine. Awareness and health literacy regarding seasonal influenza is poor among university students, especially from non-HS disciplines. These findings necessitate dire need to appropriately structured awareness programs in educational institutes to curb the growing burden of influenza.

PMID:
31680074

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