Survey reveals 88% rural residents unaware of how Hepatitis B is spread

A survey of more than 1,400 rural residents across China found 88% of participants believed they could become infected with Hepatitis B by sharing a meal with an infected individual.

Interviewing people in 72 villages located across Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Chongqing and Qinghai in China, researchers from Tongji Medical University in Wuhan led the study to gauge health education outside of China’s big cities.
Among the participants, 69.66% understood the health risks involved with second-hand cigarette smoke and 62% knew the correlation between salt and high blood pressure.

However, only 29% believed it was harmful to eat fruit picked from the ground without properly washing it.

Researchers selected 10 to 20 people from each village, all of varying age, education and income. 69% of participants made less than  22,000 yuan per year ($3,500 USD)

Surprisingly, lower income rural residents were more likely to understand health risks than those from rich families.

Those with high levels of education and those who lived within 1 km of the nearest doctor were the most knowledgeable about health issues, the study said.

For most respondents,  doctor were the primary source of information on health issues, while more than half also received information from television, newspapers and magazines.

“Health knowledge awareness of rural residents is quite low and how they receive health knowledge is simple and traditional,” the study, titled Analysis of awareness of health knowledge among rural residents in Western China, said.

“In the process of health education, different means of education should be adopted for different groups.”

It was published online at Bio Med Center in January, 2015.

Rain reduces speed of Beijing’s expressway traffic by 17 percent

Moderate to heavy rain during peak hours reduces the traffic speed of Beijing expressways by 17.3%, a recent study by the US-based Transportation Research Board found.

Comparing real-time weather data with car travel speeds, researchers were able to determine the impact of moderate rains for night time and peak hour traffic speeds.

They found moderate or greater rains at night had a lesser impact, slowing traffic speeds by 8.8% on expressways  and 4% for major traffic arteries.

The  purpose of the study was to better predict and adapt to the weather effects on congestion in order to better project traffic patterns.

The data in the study, Impact of Rainfall on Travel Speed on Urban Roads In Beijing, China, was first presented at the Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting in the United States in January before being published online in March.