report suggests. They are just a bunch of ignorant idiots.
Americans are getting serious about swine flu
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By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY
Americans are taking swine flu more seriously now than they did last
spring, when the emerging pandemic began causing widespread illness
and shuttering schools in several states, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup
The poll of 1,007 adults Wednesday found that one in three people
believe they or a family member probably will contract H1NI flu, up
from one in five in May. Seventeen percent say they worried yesterday
that they would get flu, up from 8% in June. Sixty-one percent now
accept the government's reckoning of swine flu's risks, up 5% since
May. A majority of people, 55%, say for the first time that they will
get vaccinated, up 9%.
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
"I'm not surprised to see that worry is increasing," says Kristine
Sheedy, who heads the H1N1 vaccine communication task force for the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "When your kids go back to
school, you naturally think more about the possibility that they'll
Despite the rising concern, the poll found that 62% of people believe
it's unlikely that they or a family member will get sick. Sheedy says
the finding may be the result of a misperception of just how many
people are susceptible to flu.
"People recognize that influenza's out there and that it can be
severe, but they say, 'I'm not personally worried,' " Sheedy says.
"That's one of the big challenges we face. Take seasonal influenza.
When we add up the high-risk groups and their close contacts, that's
the majority of the population."
The risk groups for swine and seasonal influenza differ, research
shows; more swine flu cases are concentrated among children and young
A Chicago Department of Public Health study of 1,557 cases of swine
flu released Thursday by the CDC shows that children ages 5 to 14 had
14 times the infection rate of adults 60 and older.
Swine flu also has taken a toll among pregnant women, who have a death
rate of 6%. "People think of flu as the common cold," Sheedy says.
"It's not the common cold. It can be deadly."
An American Red Cross poll of 1,002 adults released Thursday shows
that more people are taking precautions against flu: Two-thirds said
they make an effort to cover coughs and wash their hands.
"Clearly they're taking the threat seriously," says Sharron Silva, the
Red Cross research director.
The margin of error of the Red Cross poll is 3.1 percentage points.