Support for vector control strategies in the United States during the Zika outbreak in 2016: The role of risk perception, knowledge, and confidence in government

Rachael Piltch-Loeb, Alexis A. Merdjanoff, Aditi Bhanja, David M. Abramson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Limiting the spread and impact of Zika was a major global priority in 2016, which required a variety of vector control measures. The success of vector control campaigns is varied and often dependent on public or political will. This paper examines the change over time in the United States population's support for vector control and the factors that predicted support for three vector control strategies (i.e., indoor spraying, outdoor spraying, and use of larvacide tablets) during the 2016 Zika outbreak in the United States. Data is from a nationally representative random digit dial sample conducted at three time points in 2016. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were used, treating data as a pooled cross-sectional sample. Results show public support for vector control strategies depends on both perceived risk for disease and knowledge of disease characteristics, as well is confidence in government to prevent the threat. Support varied based on vector control method: indoor spraying, aerial spraying, and use of larvacide tables. Results can aide public health officials in implementing effective vector control campaigns depending on the vector control strategy of choice. Results have implications for ways to design effective prevention campaigns in future emerging infectious disease threats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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