An On-Line Cross-Sectional Questionnaire to Assess Knowledge of COVID-19 Pandemic among Citizens Tested for the SARS-CoV-2 Virus in Quito and Ibarra, Ecuador.

Affiliation

Ortega-Paredes D(1)(2), Zurita J(3), Zurita C(3), Leoro-Garzón P(4), Leoro-Monroy G(4), Larrea-Álvarez CM(2), Loaiza K(2), Fernandez-Moreira E(5), Molina-Cuasapaz G(6), Larrea-Álvarez M(7).
Author information:
(1)Unidad de Investigación en Enfermedades Transmitidas por Alimentos y Resistencia a los Antimicrobianos
(UNIETAR), Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Quito 170129, Ecuador.
(2)Education Unit, Life Science Initiative, Quito 170607, Ecuador.
(3)Zurita & Zurita Laboratorios, Biomedical Research Unit, Quito 170104, Ecuador.
(4)Departamento de Biología Molecular, Laboratorio Clínico e Inmunológico Inmunolab, Quito 170403, Ecuador.
(5)Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de las Américas, Quito 170517, Ecuador.
(6)Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Recursos Naturales, Carrera de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Técnica de Cotopaxi , Latacunga-Cotopaxi 050101, Ecuador.
(7)School of Biological Science and Engineering, Yachay-Tech University, Hacienda San José, Urcuquí-Imbabura 100650, Ecuador.

Abstract

Several public health measures have been implemented to contain the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The adherence to control measures is known to be influenced by people's knowledge, attitudes and practices with regard to the disease. This study aimed at assessing COVID-19 knowledge in individuals who were tested for the virus. An online cross-sectional survey of 32 items, adapted to the national context, was conducted among 1656 Ecuadorians. The mean knowledge score was 22.5 ± 3 out of 28, with significant differences being observed with regard to educational attainment. People with postgraduate training scored higher than those with college, secondary and elementary instruction. Indeed, multiple linear regression revealed that lower scores were associated significantly with the latter three levels of education. Interviewees were knowledgeable about the symptoms, detection, transmission and prevention of the disease. However, they were less assertive regarding the characteristics of the virus as well as the usefulness of traditional and unproven treatments. These outcomes indicated a lack of knowledge in fundamental aspects of virus biology, which may limit the effectiveness of further prevention campaigns. Conclusively, educational and communicational programs must place emphasis on explaining the basic molecular characteristics of SARS-CoV-2; such information will certainly contribute to improve the public's adherence to control measures.