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Int Health ; 12(2): 77-85, 2020 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387916


BACKGROUND: Strategies are urgently needed to mitigate the risk of zoonotic disease emergence in southern China, where pathogens with zoonotic potential are known to circulate in wild animal populations. However, the risk factors leading to emergence are poorly understood, which presents a challenge in developing appropriate mitigation strategies for local communities. METHODS: Residents in rural communities of Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces were recruited and enrolled in this study. Data were collected through ethnographic interviews and field observations, and thematically coded and analysed to identify both risk and protective factors for zoonotic disease emergence at the individual, community and policy levels. RESULTS: Eighty-eight ethnographic interviews and 55 field observations were conducted at nine selected sites. Frequent human-animal interactions and low levels of environmental biosecurity in local communities were identified as risks for zoonotic disease emergence. Policies and programmes existing in the communities provide opportunities for zoonotic risk mitigation. CONCLUSIONS: This study explored the relationship among zoonotic risk and human behaviour, environment and policies in rural communities in southern China. It identifies key behavioural risk factors that can be targeted for development of tailored risk-mitigation strategies to reduce the threat of novel zoonoses.

Animals, Wild/virology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Rural Population , Virus Diseases/transmission , Zoonoses/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Animals , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Qualitative Research , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Young Adult , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/virology