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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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: 'Ice Bucket Challenge' passes $100 mn mark

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

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

User comments : 0