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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Survey Says Women More Conscientious Than Men On #H1N1; While Only 1 In 10 Americans Are Very Worried About Flu, 93% Are Taking Or Planning Steps To Protect Themselves

August 27th, 2009 · No Comments

While only 1 in 10 of Americans surveyed by the American Red Cross claimed to be very worried about H1N1 flu, 93 percent say they are are taking or planning to take at least one action to guard against the H1n1 flu. The poll was released earlier today.

“Even though most Americans aren’t extremely worried about the virus, they seem interested in taking steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Scott Conner, Red Cross senior vice president of preparedness and health and safety services. “Taking those basic steps-such as washing your hands more frequently and remaining at home if you are sick become even more important as the new flu season approaches.”

According to the results, women are more likely to take protective actions, with 84 percent making an extra effort to cover coughs and sneezes (versus 71 percent for men), and 81 percent washing their hands more carefully and more often (compared to 71 percent for men).

The survey also found that 62 percent plan on being vaccinated against this new flu virus if one is offered. Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) plan on assembling a two-week supply of food, water and medicine that they might need in the event they or someone in their family becomes sick and need to stay home for extended periods of time.

The survey results seem to indicate that Americans are in a relatively good mental posture for the Fall — not getting too scared but taking some actions and beginning to think about contingencies in the event of a widespread health emergency. (Of course one would want both personal and societal preparedness to be a higher for such a potential pandemic but the best should not be the enemy of the better here.)

As far as the gender findings, come on men get with it!

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Tags: Pandemic Flu · Public Opinion · Red Cross

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