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Seasonal influenza infection: Knowledge and perception of university students in a rural area in Lebanon and determinants of influenza vaccination
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  • Dalal Hammoudi Halat,
  • Bouchra Mouhtadi,
  • zeina farah,
  • samar younes,
  • suzana Abdel Fattah,
  • mohamad rahal
Dalal Hammoudi Halat
Lebanese International University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bouchra Mouhtadi
Lebanese International University - Beirut Campus
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zeina farah
Lebanese University
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samar younes
Lebanese International University School of Pharmacy
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suzana Abdel Fattah
Lebanese International University School of Pharmacy
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mohamad rahal
Lebanese International University School of Pharmacy
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Objective: This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practice regarding influenza infection among university students in a rural area in Lebanon, and to check their influenza vaccination practices. Methods: A survey was performed on private university students in Bekaa valley, a rural area of Lebanon. An interviewer-administered 4-section questionnaire was used to record sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge about influenza, knowledge about influenza vaccination, and influenza vaccination status. Knowledge scores were set, where knowledgeable respondents were those correctly answering ≥ 50% of knowledge questions about influenza or influenza vaccination. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 18. Descriptive analysis with frequency tables was performed. A p-value of 0.05 was set as significant level for analysis. Results: One-hundred twenty-eight students from various schools completed the questionnaire. In knowledge questions, 39% of respondents were not knowledgeable regarding influenza. Females were more knowledgeable regarding influenza than males (p = 0.001, OR = 1.6). Many respondents believed that influenza was not life threating (48%), while 64.8% believed that they do not have enough information regarding influenza. About 58% of the respondents reported being vaccinated, and those were more knowledgeable regarding influenza vaccine (p = 0.047). The most common reason for vaccination was fear of getting influenza (33%). Vaccination significantly correlated with medical provider visit during the last 6 months (p=0.022). Conclusions: This study highlighted a gap of knowledge among university students regarding influenza. Raising awareness about influenza and its vaccination remain essential to in this population.