Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus transmitted through infected mosquitos. The aim of this Italian nation-wide study was to evaluate general population’s knowledge and attitudes towards ZIKV, its transmission, and travel-related preventive measures.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between July and August 2017, through a validated questionnaire. Predictors of knowledge were analysed through multivariate regression.
Results: Among 1119 respondents, 20% and 71% knew etiological agent and transmission route of ZIKV infection, respectively. Approximately 43% ignored the preventive measures to be taken after returning from endemic areas. At multivariate analysis, predictors of poor knowledge were age, living in Central or South Italy and Islands, being poorly educated, having never heard of or attended a travel clinic.
Conclusions: This study captures an overall poor knowledge of Zika among general public. This research highlights the need of designing and implementing measures to improve travellers’ awareness and protection against ZIKV.