Online Program

Knowledge of and protection practices against zoonotic diseases among goat owners in Indiana

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Amy Bauer, DVM, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Hsin-Yi Weng, DVM, MPH, PhD, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Approximately 60% of human pathogens and 75% of emerging human diseases are zoonotic. Awareness of zoonotic diseases can facilitate communication between clients and health care providers, improving the speed and accuracy of diagnoses, but public awareness cannot be assumed. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the awareness of and protection practices against zoonotic diseases, particularly Q fever, among goat owners in Indiana and to assess the association between the characteristics of goat ownership and knowledge of zoonotic diseases. A convenience sample of goat owners (n=95) were surveyed about their goat ownership, perceived risks of goat ownership, knowledge of zoonotic diseases carried by goats and Q fever, and usages of protective equipment. The majority (56%) of the participants did not think that there are risks to humans associated with owning goats. Sixty-nine (73%) of the owners recognized that goats are carriers of zoonotic diseases, with ringworm being most frequently identified. Only 32% (n=30) had heard of Q fever and 70% of them identified it as a zoonotic disease. Among the respondents, 28% wore gloves, 30% wore coveralls, 5% wore goggles and 6% wore face masks while working with goats. Logistic regression revealed that owners having goats for pets were less likely to have knowledge of Q fever (odds ratio=0.4; p=0.043) and to know that goats are carriers of zoonotic disease (odds ratio=0.3; p=0.041) compared to owners having goats for other purposes. The study findings indicate an urgent need of public health education for goat owners regarding zoonotic disease prevention.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the need of public health education for livestock (e.g., goat) owners regarding zoonotic diseases risk and prevention

Keyword(s): Veterinary Public Health, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In addition to my current research involving Coxiella burnetii in ruminants in Indiana, I have actively engaged in discussions of zoonotic disease with animal owners in my role as a clinical veterinarian. My research interests include infectious disease epidemiology and ecology, communication between veterinarians and clients (with a forthcoming entry in The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction) and the role of the veterinarian as a science and health educator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.