Public Views of H1N1 I

Public Views of H1N1 I

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FIELD DATES: April 29, 2009


  • Concerns about the outbreak – Nearly half of Americans were concerned (46%) that they or someone in their immediate family may get sick from “swine flu” during the next 12 months.
  • Americans’ response to the outbreak – More than half of Americans were responding to the outbreak by washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently (59%). A quarter were avoiding places where many people are gathered, like sporting events, malls or public transportation (25%).
  • Beliefs about “swine flu” – An overwhelming majority of Americans believed that they can get the current “swine flu” from being in close contact with someone who has it (83%), and few believed that they can get the disease from eating pork (13%). Some Americans also believed that they can get the “swine flu” from being near, but not in close contact with, someone with “swine flu” (29%), or from being in contact with pigs (34%).
  • Awareness of “H1N1” versus “swine flu” – The majority of Americans (55%) had not heard of the term “H1N1” virus. Only one in five (20%) thought it meant the same thing as “swine flu.”

METHODS AND SAMPLE: Telephone poll conducted with a representative national sample of 1,067 adults age 18 and over, including oversamples of non-Hispanic African Americans and Hispanics. 130 non-Hispanic African Americans and 107 Hispanics were interviewed.