Harvard survey: Swine flu in, affection out

May 08, 2009 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- Thanks to swine flu, there's a little less hugging and kissing in the United States.

About one in 10 Americans have stopped hugging and kissing close friends or relatives because of concerns about swine flu, according to a survey released Friday. About the same number have stopped shaking hands.

Health officials have emphasized other measures to prevent spread of the virus, like washing hands and using hand sanitizers. The survey found about two-thirds of Americans are taking such steps.

"This outbreak has permeated a lot of American life," said Robert Blendon, the Harvard School of researcher who led the polling.

The telephone survey also found about six in 10 Americans are not currently worried that they or someone in their immediate family will get sick from the virus in the next year. The level of concern has been declining, Blendon said.

However, parents of school-aged children were more concerned about swine flu infections. Many parents said schools have not provided information about what steps are being taken to prevent spread of the virus.

More than 1,000 people participated in the survey. Harvard receives funding from the to do surveys on public health concerns, but CDC does not dictate how the surveys are designed, Blendon said.

The survey was done Tuesday and Wednesday and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The CDC said Friday the number of confirmed swine flu cases in the U.S. is now at 1,639, and new illnesses appear to still be occurring. That number includes 57 hospitalizations and two deaths.

---

On the Net:

CDC web site: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

Harvard School of Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Continued reliance on Windows XP in physician practices may threaten data security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC, states: US swine flu cases jump to 68

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States has jumped to 64, federal officials said Tuesday, and states reported at least four more.

Swine flu virus starting to look less threatening

May 01, 2009

(AP) -- The swine flu virus that has frightened the world is beginning to look a little less ominous. New York City officials reported Friday that the swine flu still has not spread beyond a few schools. ...

CDC: Now fewer US swine flu cases linked to Mexico

May 07, 2009

(AP) -- A U.S. health official says now only about 10 percent of the Americans who got swine flu had traveled to Mexico and likely picked up the infection there. Most got the bug at home.

At least 7 hospitalized in US with swine flu

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- At least seven people were in U.S. hospitals with swine flu Tuesday as the number of cases nationwide rose to 64 and a federal health official warned that deaths were likely.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking ...