Study: Most would adapt to pandemic rules

October 26, 2006

A nationwide survey suggests most U.S. citizens would be willing to make major lifestyle changes in case of an avian flu outbreak of pandemic proportions.

However, the Harvard School of Public Health survey also found a substantial number of people would have no one to care for them if they become ill or would face serious financial problems if they had to remain off work for a week or more.

Health officials are concerned the H5N1 avian flu, which has caused about 250 illnesses and deaths among people in Asia, Africa, and Europe, could become pandemic.

The survey was conducted to assist public health officials in planning for a possible widespread outbreak of flu and was presented Thursday in Washington during an Institute of Medicine workshop.

The first attempt to tap the public's intentions when faced with the specific circumstances of an outbreak, the survey was conducted with a representative national sample of 1,697 adults ages 18 and over, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

The survey is available at
www.hsph.harvard.edu/panflu/panflu_release_topline.doc>

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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