Introduction In January 2020, World Health Organization declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus a pandemic (global health emergency). The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge about novel coronavirus and its determinant factors among health science students at Arbaminch Health Sciences College, Southwest Ethiopia.
Method A cross-sectional study design was employed to assess the level knowledge about novel coronavirus among 304 graduating class students in Arbaminch Health Science College. The study participants were selected using a simple random sampling technique. The data collection tool consisted of 33 items (10 items about demographic and education related and 23 items about knowledge on novel coronavirus). Multivariable logistic regression was performed using SPSS.
Results The vast majority of students 228(75%) scored below 50% and were considered to have poor knowledge on COVID-19. Only 7.6% of participants knew that muscle pain is a symptom of 2019-nCoV infection. One hundred forty three (47%) of the participants did not know any symptoms of COVID-19. Only 24.3% of the respondents answered correctly that rubbing hands with alcohol based sanitizers can help in prevention of disease transmission. Sex, residence and social media use were significantly associated with adequate knowledge on novel coronavirus (p < 0.05).
Conclusion Health science students had poor knowledge on COVID-19. The health science college and health authorities should re-examine their capability to manage the deadly virus