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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464


MILANESI, Rafaela; CAREGNATO, Rita Catalina Aquino  and  WACHHOLZ, Neiva Isabel Raffo. Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1): changing population health habits in Cachoeira do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, 2010. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.4, pp.723-732. ISSN 1678-4464.

This quantitative exploratory-descriptive study conducted from January 5 to February 26, 2010, focused on the population's health habits in Cachoeira do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, before, during, and after the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. The total population included 11,100 individuals listed in the telephone book, of which 519 (4.7%) were interviewed by telephone. Characteristics were: age range 18-90 years; 55.3% women; 22.7% with university diplomas; and 39.9% with secondary school diplomas. The following proportions of health habits were reported after the pandemic: 74% washed their hands frequently with soap and water and 39.2% cleaned their hands with alcohol gel; 94.6% covered their faces when they sneezed or coughed; 45.5% washed their hands after coughing/sneezing; 60.9% avoided touching the mucosa of their eyes, nose, and mouth; 21% avoided crowds; 85.7% attempted to keep rooms well ventilated. During the pandemic, the interviewees incorporated good habits in all the above measures, which were maintained to variable degrees even after the seven-month pandemic ended.

Keywords : Influenza A Virus; H1N1 Subtype; Pandemics; Habits.

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