May 19th, 2009
05:30 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans concerns over H1N1 virus easing

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that only one in six Americans are worried that someone in their family will get the H1N1 flu.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Tuesday morning, indicates that concern over the flu, also known as the swine flu, has diminished somewhat, with 17 percent of people questioned saying they are worried that they or someone in their family will fall victim to the flu. An additional 20 percent say there were worried in the past few weeks but are no longer concerned. Sixty-three percent of those polled say they were never worried, but the poll suggests that there is a large gender gap on that measure. Among men, 71 percent said they have never worried about the flu; for women, that figure drops to 55 percent.

“Women are more likely than men to worry about the flu, possibly because women tend to fill the role of "health monitor" in American families,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll also suggests that a majority of Americans, 54 percent, think the federal government’s response to the flu has been appropriate. But nearly four in ten questioned say the government as overreacted.

"Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to say that the government's response has been appropriate," Holland says.

The poll’s release comes after an assistant principal in New York City who was hospitalized with the H1NI virus died. New York City’s health commissioner said Monday that the man did have an underlying condition. If confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death would be the sixth linked to swine flu in the United States. The CDC has confirmed three in Texas, one in Arizona and one in Washington State.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN Polls
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. david

    it's a flu. people need to take flu season precautions. it is not an epidemic nor a pandemic. even with some 8K people identified as having the swine flu all over the world, it is a small number compared to the billions in world population. take flu season precautions, wash your hands and so forth.

    May 19, 2009 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  2. SENSIBLE MIKE

    this i just don't get. Being from the Northern NJ, NY area are people not realizing that 14000+ kids are out of school because of the outbreak? The suspected second death of a one year old was announced today and the schoolkids out of school has grown since last week. I'm not saying we should all be running around in the streets going crazy about it, but I fear that the worst is not yet done.

    May 19, 2009 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  3. Sharon Kitchen

    I know that the response was not great in all counties and all states.
    I and my husband were very ill. We went to docotrs/clinics/hospital...and were told they were not doing any testing.
    People were turned away.
    So how are their statistics correct?
    How many people were turned away by other areas?
    How many test may have proved positive?
    How much would it have cost for a test?
    We will have to pay these bills anyway.
    Why were we and others not taken care of?

    May 19, 2009 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  4. CR

    Who cares about people's opinions -that's not always reality, report the facts. I get the impression from the occasional rare news story that this is still spreading, not going away. I guess since it's not an impending disaster, spreading like wildfire, it's not news worthy.

    May 19, 2009 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  5. TCM

    The concerns were a result of media hype, probably in coercion with the obama administration to slide through health care. This flu wasn't even as deadly as the ordinary flu that occurs yearly. However, the media can blow anything out of proportion, just the obama-waffle's campaign...and now look what we're stuck with....

    May 19, 2009 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  6. Craig

    I never was all that concerned. It was the result of continuous coverage by the media that blew it way out of proportion. Report on something newsworthy CNN.

    May 19, 2009 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  7. chad

    oh yeah.. thats right.. .turn the page... like most americans will turn the page when they are still feeling the effects of the last 8 years? Smart Steele real smart......

    May 19, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. wishing

    Since you won't let us comment on Michael Steele (RNC) statement about the time to apologize is over, I will comment here.

    Until there are trials, guilty verdicts and jail time, we are a long way from this being over. Eight years of running the country as a kingdom; avoiding, ignoring and changing laws at will; treating the opposition as the enemy; and insufferable smugness, will take a while to wash away.

    Mr. Steele is a shill.

    May 19, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. Craig from NJ

    You know, reading the news these days is getting more and more depressing. The economy is getting worse and worse and it seems like there's nothing being done about it. Even the "good" news stories on CNN.com are really just the same bad news with a positive spin on it.... you can pick up the tinge of desperation in the tone and by reading between the lines.

    May 19, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  10. Lauren

    The whole swine flu scare was stupid. It was a huge over reaction by STUPID people and STUPId government department heads.

    Doesn't CNN have better things to worry about polling than scare tactics like this was???????

    and WHY must you even mention Republicans and Democrats in this article?? If, lets just say IF it had been a serious health problem, would it matter what political party you are?

    May 19, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. Dawn

    Of course we are all concerned about the H1N1 flu. If you have lung disease or if you have an auto immune disease, children or the elderly are the ones who will be hit the hardest and hospitalized. I am an asthmatic, and I cannot have a flu vaccine, because I am allergic to eggs, double whamy on me. Think about that, what happens to us, is there something that people like me can do?

    Also I am woman here me roar, until we get sick, because we can never get sick, we still have to cook, clean, do the shopping and take care of the family. When men get sick they are total babies, trust me I am married to one!

    May 19, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Terry

    The swine flu may turn out to be a minor issue. Many people criticize the government for making such a big deal out of it. The problem is that it is impossible to tell in advance how big a deal a new strain of flu or some other disease might be. The only rational strategy is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

    The people who say that the government made too much of it are the same ones who will call for an investigation if the government under-responds to some future crisis.

    May 19, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. Paul from Phoenix

    That's because it is not that big of a deal. If certain idiot Vice-Presidents weren't fear mongering, then nobody would have even worried this much. 36,000 US citizens die every year from standard influenza, aka the flu. So far...6 US swine flu deaths in 2 months. The swine flu can't even match the numbers of the standard flu.

    May 19, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Pandora's box. The virus is a reality. Given its highly contageous nature, precautions remain necessary, up to and including closing of schools and enclosed public gathering places, like libraries.

    The recent death of a reasonably healthy high school vice principal should be warning enough for CDC to understand the gravity of this outbreak.

    May 19, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. NP

    Maybe Nancy Pelosi will get it and blame the CIA for covertly infecting her. What a joke!! Funny how the dims blindly fall in line behind her with no dissent. What a bunch of out of touch hypocrites. To their credit, no matter what happens, they don't turn on their own.....

    May 19, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  16. proud army navy mom

    after all those new stories cnn and other media promoted, trying to whip up panic, didn't work. i feel bad for you all

    May 19, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. TheTruth

    No kidding! It is because media outlets like CNN and all the other yellow journalists (think Lou Dobbs) stopped making big deal out of it. H1N1 is no more than simple flu virus until media (think Lou Dobbs again) got hold of it. Only thing these people care about is their rating. They need something to talk about 24/7 and scare tactic is their best weapon. Good job CNN.

    May 19, 2009 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  18. Jon

    This is usually when the bottom falls out from underneath you...

    May 19, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  19. Jeff Brown

    The fear of this virus will ease when the media stops pimping it!

    May 19, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. Sam Sixpack

    This poll suggests that the media blew the situation out of proportion and now folks are realizing they've been duped – again.

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you only need to fool enough of the people enough of the time.

    May 19, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. End of Journalism

    Don't you mean the media's concerns? People I talk too don't care because more people die from regular flu and everything else than this.

    May 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Bad mistake.....

    it will bite you big time.

    May 19, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Shari, NY

    Overreacted? Tell that to the widow of the NYC public school Asst. Principal who expired yesterday. Yes, sometimes we do act like Chicken Little who thought the sky was falling because a measly acorn fell on his head. Sometimes when it comes to health it is best to err on the side of caution.

    May 19, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz,VA

    If you're taking the appropriate measures to ensure you don't get sick, you may avoid getting the the H1N1 virus. Simple!

    May 19, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. SLM

    Much to do about nothing. More people die from the regular flu every season and there isn't any big hype over that.

    May 19, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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