Measles awareness: The public's knowledge and immunity regarding the disease
Chu, Jeremy (author)
School of Health Sciences (author)
© Jeremy Chu 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.
Background Measles is a highly contagious disease which has been the cause of numerous epidemics and outbreaks worldwide. The introduction of the two-dose Mumps, Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccine helped to reduce and eliminate the disease in various places and continues to be the most effective method of developing immunity against measles. However, due to high non-vaccination rates and low herd immunity, measles is becoming a serious public health issue again. Additionally, those born between 1970 to 1994 are more at risk of contracting measles because they may have only received one-dose of the MMR vaccine during that time, which is not sufficient to develop immunity. Due to the recent measles outbreaks in Vancouver, B.C, this project surveyed the public regarding their knowledge of measles and the MMR vaccination to determine if they are able to protect themselves from this disease. Methods An in-person survey was conducted at three institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), University of British Columbia (UBC) and Douglas College. The first section of the survey gathered general information from the participant such as year of birth, country of birth, area of study and municipality of dwelling. The second section of the survey included various true or false and yes or no questions regarding measles, MMR vaccination and recent outbreaks. Results Thirty-four people participated in the study. Four factors were analyzed using the chi-square. There was no statistically significant association found between any of the factors, including, country of birth vs. vaccination status (p=0.3952), year of birth vs. vaccination status (p=0.2563), country of birth vs. knowledge of MMR (p=0.7903) and area of study vs. knowledge of MMR (p=0.9875). It is possible that due to small sample size, there was insufficient power to detect any associations. Conclusions Out of the 34 participants, 21 were vaccinated, 4 were not vaccinated and 9 had an unknown vaccination status. Although the chi-square tests showed no association between any of the factors, the descriptive data still shows that we’ve only achieved a herd immunity of slightly over 50% was achieved within our survey population, which is not high enough to protect against measles. This can be a great opportunity for health authorities to educate individuals who are vaccine hesitant or refuse to immu
Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2019.