Archive for Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bird flu response a worry, poll says

April 22, 2006


— Their expectations shaken by Katrina, Americans are divided over whether the government is likely to do a good job handling the bird flu if it reaches the U.S., a poll finds. People want a resolute response that includes quarantines if Americans do become infected.

The AP-Ipsos survey, released Friday, found widespread belief that birds will become infected in this country in the next year, as the government has predicted. One-third worry someone in their family will get the bird flu.

Fear is certain to spread if the virus is found in the United States: Half of the people questioned said they thought the bird flu would kill them if they contracted it. Among the most concerned were women, older people, minorities, poorer people and the less educated.

The actual chances of death from the virulent strain of the bird flu spreading through Asia, Europe and Africa are not known, mainly because there is no way to tell how many contract the virus. It's possible some who get it recover without the virus even being detected.

Among the 204 known cases so far overseas since 2003, 113 people have died, according to new World Health Organization figures Friday.


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