Knowledge of Malaysian university students towards swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus: A qualitative study


  • Redhwan Ahmed Al-Naggar
  • Al-Jashamy Karim
  • Yuri V. Bobryshev


Keywords, Knowledge, H1N1, University Students, Qualitative Study


Introduction: The study was aimed to explore the knowledge towards swine flu among university students.

Methods: An in-depth interview was conducted among 40 Students chosen randomly and asked to participate. The interviewers followed a standardized protocol to ensure that all the participants’ interviews were conducted in a similar manner and that an identical set of questions were discussed.  Due to the small sample size, the data was analyzed manually.

Results: The majority of the participants were aware that H1N1 is a disease caused by Influenza A virus subtype H1N1. In terms of transmission, the majority of participants believed that the H1N1 might be transmitted from an infected person to a susceptible person; 12 out of 40 students thought that people might be infected by eating pork meat. Few students reported that the pig farmers and those in close contact with pigs were at high risk of the infection. Regarding preventions, half of the participants reported that H1N1 infection might be prevented by wearing face-masks, washing hands and avoiding close contact with infected patients.

Conclusion: Despite majority of the participants had the basic knowledge regarding H1N1 and its preventions measures such as wearing face-masks, washing hands and avoiding close contact with infected patients, some of them had some misconceptions about the infection, such as the infection might be transmitted by eating pork meat. 


WHO, Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR). Available from: don/2009_05_13/en/index.html>, (accessed May 2009).

WHO, Media centre. Influenza A (H1N1). Available from: statements/2009/h1n1_20090429/en/index.html>, (accessed May 2009).

WHO, Considerations on influenza A (H1N1) and HIV infection. Available from:, (Accessed 6 August 2009).

Disease Control Division Ministry of Health Malaysia. Mitigation Phase: Influenza A (H1n1) Surveillance Strategies. Strategies/ (17-07-2009).

Disease Control Division Ministry of Health Malaysia. Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Current Situation in Malaysia. (H1N1) (2009).

Langeroudi AG and Estabraghi AS. Bird flu knowledge among veterinary medical students in Iran. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 2008; 7:526-528.

Brankston G, Leah G, Zahir H, Camille L, & Michael. Transmission of influenza A in human beings. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 2007; 7: 257–65.

Lau JTF, Griffiths S, Choi KC & Tsui HY. Widespread public misconception in the early phase of the H1N1 influenza epidemic. Journal of Infection 2009; 59:122-127.

Komiya N, Gu Y, Kamiya H, Yahata Y, et al. Clinical features of cases of influenza A (H1N1) V in Osaka prefecture, Japan, Eurosurveillance 2009; 14: 1-3.

Cowling BJ, Fung RO, Cheng CK, et al. Preliminary findings of a randomized trial of Non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent influenza transmission in households. PloS One 2008; 3:E2101.

Rungrotmongkol T, Intharathep P, Malaisreeet M, et al. Susceptibility of antiviral drugs against 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2009; 389:390–394.






Infectious Diseases