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Indian Pediatr 2010;47: 101

Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Regarding Novel H1N1 (swine) Flu Among Pediatricians of Chandigarh

Vidushi Mahajan and *Shiv Sajan Saini,

Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College and Hospital; and *Neonatology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

A questionnaire based survey related to Novel H1N1 swine origin influenza virus (S-OIV, swine flu) was administered to 134 pediatricians of Chandigarh city, to assess their knowledge (10 questions), attitudes (4 questions) and practices (4 questions). Of 134, 94 (70%) responded. Thirty percent (n=28) were in private practice and 70% (n=66) were in public sector. Forty six percent were registered with Indian Academy of Pediatrics. Only 52% (n=49) were aware that swine flu predominantly occurs in young healthy individuals. Ninety percent (n=85) were familiar with clinical symptoms and 70% (n=66) with incubation period. Current WHO phase-6 of pandemic alert was known to a few (14%).

Regarding management practices, only 33% (n=31) knew that Oseltamivir and Zanamivir both could be safely used in children, while 63% (n=59) pediatricians knew of only Oseltamivir. Eighteen percent (n=17) believed that breastfeeding should be stopped for mothers receiving pharmacotherapy. The possibility of reinfection with S-OIV even after successful therapy was known to 43% (n=40).

Hand washing and special masks were suggested as best methods of prevention for the physicians [27.7% (n=26) and 65% (n= 61), respectively]. N95 masks utility was known to 78%. The state of mind as regards to the pandemic was cautious and careful (91%), alarmed and panicky (5%) and not bothered (4%). Most pediatricians (94%) agreed that more efforts are needed to spread awareness regarding this pandemic. Internet was the most popular means of acquiring information about swine flu (84%), followed by newspaper and media (46%), senior health professionals (19%) and books (10%).

The survey’s results suggest that there is a mixed response in the preparedness of pediatricians towards swine flu. On an encouraging note, majority of the physicians had tried to educate themselves about this pandemic. There is need to scale up the efforts to spread awareness about swine flu.


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