Document Type : Original Article
SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina Carrera de Turismo, Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabi
SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management University of South Carolina
University of Florida
Introduction: Mosquito-borne diseases have historically affected communities, especially in tropical areas where mosquitoes and illnesses are endemic. Globalization, climate change, and increased travel have created ideal conditions for outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases that could threaten the American health system and place a burden on the national economy, especially in southern states.
Methods: The study adopts a quantitative cross-sectional design with a retrospective survey carried out using the Pollfish platform in June 2022. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and hierarchical multiple regression to assess the three hypotheses: (H1) Chikungunya awareness is related to sociodemographic factors; (H2) Wearing long sleeves and pants is related to (a) Chikungunya awareness and (b) information-seeking behaviors, when controlling for sociodemographic variables; (H3) Use of insect repellents is related to (a) Chikungunya awareness and (b) information-seeking behaviors when controlling for sociodemographic variables.
Results: The results highlight the relationships between chikungunya’s awareness, information-seeking behavior, and willingness to engage in protective behaviors. 45.91% of the participants mentioned not having heard about chikungunya, and 67.07% of respondents had sought information about mosquito-borne illnesses in the past, 55.9% have looked at the U.S. State Department’s website for mosquito-borne diseases, 38.32% have visited the U.S. CDC website for information specifically about chikungunya.
Conclusions: The results of this study show that most American travelers are unaware of chikungunya and its mode of transmission. Travel could likely introduce the chikungunya virus to the United States. Despite increased health information-seeking behavior among U.S. residents after the Covid19 pandemic, Chikungunya awareness is low.