Objective: The Zika virus is an important viral agent that presents the risk of pandemic disease. Infection with the virus can cause microcephaly in infants, as well as other potential effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of knowledge about the Zika virus among healthcare personnel in Turkey.
Methods: A total of 290 healthcare personnel from a secondary and a tertiary health institution were included in this study. The data were collected using a survey form prepared by the researchers and statistically analyzed.
Results: Among the respondents, there was awareness of the Zika virus in 68.7%, 75.0%, 75.9%, and 77.0% of women, individuals over 35 years of age, doctors, and those with a healthcare career of at least 10 years, respectively. The results revealed that 58.9% knew the true means of transmission, 36.0% were aware of prevention efforts, 41.1% were familiar with potential complications,.5% reported knowledge of treatment, and 16.8% responded correctly regarding the availability of a vaccine. The primary source of information about the virus was TV and radio for 68.5% of the participants, and 3.6% cited scientific papers.
Conclusion: The Zika virus is a potential pandemic agent. The knowledge level of the healthcare personnel studied was insufficient to meet such a challenge. The ministry of health and universities should provide the appropriate training to healthcare personnel.