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General Public and Physicians Express Similar Levels of Concern Regarding Potential Swine Flu Pandemic

- 63% of general public and physicians believe there is some risk for a catastrophic pandemic -

FLEMINGTON, N.J., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national study among 2,225 members of the general public revealed that 63% of respondents indicated that there is some risk that the current situation involving the Swine Flu will result in a catastrophic pandemic.

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The study was conducted by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO) on April 27, to obtain the general public's perceptions of the news that The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared a public health emergency in regard to Swine Influenza (Swine Flu). To view detailed results go to: or

"When comparing the results of this study to a similar physicians' study that we released yesterday, the general public's perceptions of the swine flu and its potential risk were in line with physicians' views," explained Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research.

Approximately one-quarter of the general public (26%) reported that they were concerned that the swine flu will have an impact on themselves or their families. When asked how their behavior would change after the announcement of the public health emergency, respondents indicated that they would be 15% more likely to visit the doctor at the first sign of the flu.

Members of the general were asked to rank various life-threatening events on a scale which measured their level of concern for each event. A ranking of 1 represents "The most concerned" and a ranking of 6 represents "The least concerned." Swine Flue was ranked 4th among all regions except for the west coast, which ranked it 3rd. Below are all the results broken down by U.S. regions:

                                 Northeast   Midwest   South   West or Pacific

    Car accidents                    1          1        1           1
    Natural disasters such as
     hurricanes, earthquakes and
     tsunamis                        2          2        2           2
    Terrorist attacks employing
     a dirty or nuclear bomb         3          3        3           4
    Bio terrorism such as small
     pox or anthrax                  5          5        5           5
    Swine flu                        4          4        4           3
    Airline Accidents                6          6        6           6

Among the findings:

On a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 indicates that your belief that the current situation has a no risk of resulting in a catastrophic pandemic (a large number of deaths worldwide) and 7 indicates an extremely high risk, please rate how risky you believe a swine flu epidemic to be. Indicate your prediction regarding the outcome of potential situation.

    1 - No Risk                                   2%
    2 - Low Risk                                  9%
    Bottom 2                                     11%
    3 - Somewhat Low Risk                        14%
    4 - Neither At Risk or Not At Risk           11%
    5 - Somewhat At Risk                         44%
    Top 2                                        19%
    6 - High Risk                                14%
    7 - Extremely High Risk                       5%

Using a similar scale, where 1 indicates that the government is unprepared for a pandemic and 7 indicates that the government is extremely prepared, please rate our government's ability to prepare for a possible pandemic.

    1 - Not At All Prepared                       7%
    2 - Not Prepared                             14%
    Bottom 2                                     20%
    3 - Somewhat Not Prepared                    17%
    4 - Neutral                                  16%
    5 - Somewhat Prepared                        32%
    Top 2                                        14%
    6 - Prepared                                 12%
    7 - Completely Prepared                       2%

Based on what you may or may not already know about the swine flu cases originating from Mexico, please indicate your level of concern regarding whether this virus will have an impact on you and your family using a scale from 1 to 7. 1 indicates you have no concern and 7 indicates you are extremely concerned.

    1 - Not At All Concerned                      4%
    2 - Not Concerned                             9%
    Bottom 2                                     13%
    3 - Somewhat Not Concerned                   13%
    4 - Neutral                                  15%
    5 - Somewhat Concerned                       32%
    Top 2                                        26%
    6 - Concerned                                16%
    7 - Extremely Concerned                      10%

HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ. The company's services include traditional and web-based communications research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company's web site at or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393. Headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, MCIPO is a respected source of public opinion data on local, state and national issues. For additional information on Muhlenberg College, go to

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