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Swine Flu and Public Opinion

A quarter of all Americans say they’re worried about catching swine flu, and there’s initial evidence in a new Gallup poll that growing numbers are adjusting their daily lives in the face of the spreading virus.

The overnight poll of 1,010 adults nationally finds that 6 percent have opted out of shopping or dining out of fear of the bug, 5 percent of those with children at home kept them there. Those numbers are not statstically significant changes from a Gallup poll Tuesday evening, but they and others have nudged higher, and bear watching.

Jon Cohen, Washington Post Director of Polling, also directs attention to a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, which finds that nearly half of all Americans believe that they or someone in their household will catch swine flu in the next 12 months.

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Opinions  
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Next: CDC: Swine Flu Not as Deadly as 1918 Flu

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