Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

February 11, 2020

A qualitative study of zoonotic risk factors among rural communities in southern China



  • In a qualitative evaluation of general zoonotic transmission risk factors in rural China, Li, et al. present information from predominantly agrarian communities. Interesting findings include:
    • Dogs or cats kept for companionship, home protection or preventing rat infestations 
    • Poultry, pigs and cattle raised for meat consumption; animal waste sometimes used as crop fertilizer; seeking medical treatment for bites and scratches was uncommon 
    • Vaccination coverage of domestic animals was low. Participants were informed about rabies but rarely other zoonotic illnesses.
    • While participants reported a decrease in wild animal hunting, trading or consumption activities, hunting or consumption of some wild animals (e.g. rodents, bats, civets, frogs, snakes and birds) still occurred
    • Recent infrastructure improvements and inspections of designated slaughter houses were recognized to have improved hygiene and sanitation conditions. Poultry slaughter and sale in wet markets remained a concern.
    • Bat caves and roosts close to human dwellings were reported; wild animals among crops were observed.
  • Mitigation opportunities through gun control policies, enforcement of wildlife protection laws were reported to have reduced wildlife hunting. Healthcare access to local government clinics was generally good. Access to government-provided free or low-priced vaccines for domestic animals was limited 

Li, et al. (Feb 10, 2020). A qualitative study of zoonotic risk factors among rural communities in southern China. International Health.