A review panel, charged with examining the World Health Organizations response to the H1N1 pandemic, will reconvene in September to uncover the lessons learned from that response. But are Americans worried that those lessons will need to be applied to another bout with the H1N1 virus commonly referred to as swine flu?
Just 20 percent of people nationwide are either very concerned or concerned that they or someone in their household will become infected with the virus, according to The Marist Poll, a project of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. This includes 13 percent who are concerned and 7 percent who are very concerned. On the contrary, most Americans 80 percent are not very worried or not worried at all. Included here are 45 percent who are not concerned at all and 35 percent who are not very concerned.
Anxiety about swine flu has decreased dramatically. When Marist last asked this question in October 2009, a slim majority 51 percent said they experienced some degree of worry about a family member contracting the virus while 49 percent had little or no concern.
Those who are currently the most worried about getting the illness are those who earn less than $50,000 annually, African American and Latino residents, those under the age of 45, and women.
There is little difference on this question between geographic regions and between households with and without children.