One-quarter of US and UK adults indicated a package from China may transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Click through more perceptions, true and false, from a recent survey.
“Yes,” one can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 by receiving a package from China, agreed one-quarter of UK and US adults surveyed online by Pascal Geldsetzer, MD, MPH, PhD, division of primary care and population health, department of medicine, at Stanford University in California.More than one-third of survey respondents in both countries also selected options for preventing COVID-19 infection that included rinsing the nose with saline and gargling with mouthwash.
Overall Geldsetzer’s results show a general level of public understanding about protection from and contracting and spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but the misperceptions uncovered are not trivial, as summarized in the slides above.
The author hopes the results will help guide information campaigns by public health authorities, clinicians, and the media. The online survey was conducted between February 23 and March 2, 2020.
Impressions on the number of fatalities from COVID-19 in my country will be ≤500 people by the end of 2020 and the percentage of COVID-19 infected persons who experience a fatal disease course.
Impressions of which age group/s is/are most likely to die from COVID-19 were accurate but the UK understimated the risk in children.
Accurate understanding in both countries of the danger of underlying health problems for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
The majority of participants in both countries recognized fever, cough, and shortness of breath as the 3 primary symptoms and signs of COVID-19.
About 2/3 of US participants and 3/4 of those in the UK chose staying at home and contacting primary care if they recognized symptoms of COVID-19 and had been to China or had known contact with somebody from China.
The proportion of participants who selected these 3 effective measures for preventing COVID-19 infection was higher in the US vs the UK: Hand washing; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and avoiding touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.
Misperceptions about COVID-19 prevention also were prevalent with more than 2/3 of participants in each country also selecting at least one of these: Using a hand dryer; rinsing the nose with saline; taking antiobiotics as prophylaxis; and gargling with mouthwash.
”More than 1/3 of US participants and more than 1/4 in the UK agreed with the following statement:“Consistently wearing a face mask is highly effective in protecting you from getting infected with the new coronavirus. For the purpose of this question, ‘highly effective’ is defined as reducing your risk of getting infected by >95% and a ‘face mask’ is a common medical mask.”
A majority of participants in both countries correctly selected the statement above as the main mode of COVID-19 transmission: “Droplets of saliva that land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby when an infected person sneezes or coughs."
Correctly, nearly all participants in both countries DISAGREED with the statement that "Only older adults can become infected with SARS-CoV-2."
Correctly, nearly all participants in both countries AGREED with the statement: "There is currently no vaccine available that protects against COVID-19."
Approximately 1/4 of respondents from both countries answered "yes," to the following question: “Do you think it would be prudent for you to not eat at Chinese restaurants for the next few weeks to reduce the risk of getting infected with the new coronavirus?”
One-quarter of respondents in the US and the UK agreed with the following statement: "One can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 by receiving a package from China."
“If you were an Uber driver today, would you try to reject ride requests from people with East Asian-sounding names (or a profile photo of East-Asian ethnicity) to reduce your risk of getting infected with the new coronavirus?” A larger proportion of UK respondents vs US respondents said "sometimes," oftent," or "always."