Avian Influenza in Vietnam : Chicken-Hearted Consumers? Figuié et al., 2008
"This study, based on quantitative and qualitative surveys conducted from July 2004 to September 2005, examines the perceptions of Hanoi consumers and their reactions to the Avian Influenza epizootic (H5N1)."
Risk Anal. 2008 Apr; 28(2) : 441-51
This study, based on quantitative and qualitative surveys conducted from July 2004 to September 2005, examines the perceptions of Hanoi consumers and their reactions to the Avian Influenza epizootic (H5N1). Hanoi consumers clearly link the risk of human contamination by the virus to the preparation and ingestion of poultry. During the first crisis, consumers reacted quickly and intensely (74% of them had already stopped eating poultry in January 2004). Nevertheless, once the crisis abated, they quickly resumed their consumption of poultry. This behavior corresponds to the pattern described by empirical studies of other crises, such as BSE. What is more surprising is the speed with which the different steps of this common pattern succeeded one another. It may be explained by a rapid decrease in risk anxiety. A logit model shows that, soon after the beginning of the crisis, AI risk anxiety was tempered by confidence in the information and recommendations issued by the government concerning AI and, in the long term, by a high perceived self-efficiency to deal with AI. Indeed, not only has poultry consumption been affected in terms of the quantity consumed, but alternative ways of selecting and preparing poultry have also been adopted as anti-risk practices. Risk communication strategies should take this into account, and rely on a previous assessment of consumer practices adopted to deal with the risk.
M. Figuié : CIRAD, UMR MOISA, Montpellier, F-34398 France.
T. Fournier : CNRS, UMR 5044, CERTOP, University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, Toulouse, F-31058 France