Prevention of contagious fungal infections with permanent nation-wide Internet campaign

V.Y. Sergeev, B.I. Shpigel and A.Y. Sergeev

Author address: 

All-Russian National Academy of Mycology, Moscow, Russia

Abstract: 

The incidence of the only known contagious fungal infections, caused by dermatophytes, is growing in Russia and Europe, as reported by recent prevalence studies. Searching for patients and treating them effectively appears to be the only way to stop the spread of tinea pedis/ onychomycosis that now affects at least 5% of Russian adult population. With current motivation of patients to seek for medical care being low, and conventional approaches for prevention (mass media campaigns, foot care days, etc.) being very expensive, we need a new, reliable tool for permanent informational prophylaxis of contagious tinea infections. The Internet as an open, constantly available information media provides new solution for prevention of tinea infections. In a Russian-speaking segment of Internet, search engine queries with keywords relevant for tinea infections approach at least 30 000 per month. For establishing a nation-wide Internet campaign for prevention of tinea pedis and onychomycosis, the Gribok.RU project (http://www.gribok.ru website) was started by All-Russian National Academy of Mycology. The goal of Gribok.RU project is informational prophylaxis of tinea infections and raising the patient’s motivation to seek medical advice. Main tasks are: providing evidence-based data on tinea infections and onychomycosis, its impact on health and life-quality; offering the possibility to self-diagnose the fungal disease; teaching the basics of sanitary measures of prophylaxis and hygiene; and finally describing the modern treatment options with possibility of cure. The website includes the special online test for preliminary selfdiagnosis of onychomycosis and online consultations web-engine. After 2 years of the project activity, the attendance of Gribok. RU website has reached 69 100 unique visitors per year (average 5340 visitors with 33 157 hits per month), about half of the visitors being from Moscow region. About 20% of visitors reads a page with addresses of medical centers offering treatment. That statistics is comparable to reported yearly incidence of tinea pedis in Moscow (331 per 100 000 of population in a 12-million megalopolis). Web-based campaigns are a modern, cost-effective approach for fighting contagious tinea infections. Compared with recent Hotline project, where TV and other massmedia sources were used, new Internet campaign attract almost the half of target audience per year, with expenditures decreased more than tenfold.
2005

abstract No: 

P126

Full conference title: 

2nd Trends in Medical Mycology
    • TIMM 2nd (2010)