INFLUENCE OF HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN NIGERIA
Keywords:One Health, Wildlife trade, Emerging zoonotic diseases, Climate change, Biodiversity
This study evaluated the knowledge and perceptions of respondents regarding the impact of human-animal interactions and climate change on the Coronavirus pandemic. Data were collected through a nationwide analytic cross-sectional survey with the aid of a structured questionnaire made available online. The questionnaire consisted of 26 items divided into four sections (socio-demographic characteristics; knowledge and attitudes towards COVID-19; COVID-19 and human-animal interactions; COVID-19 and climate change) while participants’ responses were scored using the ‘Likert-type’ scale. The percentages of responses obtained were calculated, while data collected were analyzed, descriptively. More males participated in the survey with most respondents being between the ages of 41-50 years. Most participants had postgraduate education, lived in urban areas, practiced Christianity, and were from the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. All respondents were aware of the existence of COVID-19, as a transmissible disease while about 93.95% reported touching of face, nose, and mouth with contaminated hands as the route of COVID-19 transmission. About 45.1% of respondents affirmed that they always took precautions when interacting with animals while 44.19% believed that the increasing spread of disease-carrying pests is a consequence of climate change. Though a high level of awareness of COVID-19 was noted, there was a need for more aggressive sensitization of people especially in the rural areas on the impact of COVID-19 disease on human and environmental health.
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