Public Knowledge of Global Health Issues
Dr. Melody Knight, Dr. Lorraine Killion, Dr. Marsha Allen, M.D

Global travel has increased the risk of spreading viruses like West Nile, Zika, and Ebola to the U.S. Viruses such as smallpox and anthrax, easily disseminated and transmitted to others, are being tested for use as biological weapons and worldwide overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to new strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Environmental disasters like Chernobyl in 1986, contaminated the surrounding area with radiation and negative health consequences continue, as food grown in radioactive soil is consumed. The purpose of this study was to determine if information about these various Global Health Issues is known. Upon IRB approval, 259 individuals were administered a 15-item questionnaire. Participants were selected from 9-83 years of age. ANOVA results yielded significance for scores by age [F(3,255) = 20.831, p=.000]. Scores for younger individuals were lower (M=9.33.22, SD=1.69) than for adults (M=12.02, SD=2.00). The mean score across all surveyed was 10.5 and alarmingly, only 48.3% of participants posted a passing score. Education and an increase in public awareness are necessary if people want to protect themselves. We must educate students, parents, and communities of the potential risks and preventive measures needed to deal with these continually evolving health issues.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v5n4a1