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Poll: Hypothetical anthrax attack and antibiotics
Date:2/19/2010

ans for the best delivery of countermeasures. The Harvard researchers have no knowledge of an impending biological attack using anthrax in the United States.

Click here for the complete survey: www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/files/anthrax_report_topline_2.18.10..doc

Click here for the charts: www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/files/anthrax_report__press_slides_2.18.10_final.ppt

"Publicizing key information such as where to get antibiotics and that inhalation anthrax is not contagious would be vital to helping people protect themselves effectively in the case of a significant attack," said Professor Robert Blendon, Director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program and an expert in understanding the public response to emergencies that involve health threats. "As these results show, clear communication with the public, in the context of what could be a frightening and catastrophic event, should be a critical priority."

The poll examined the public's reaction to a possible, significant anthrax attack in their city or town and their likelihood of responding effectively to public health recommendations to 1) go to local antibiotic dispensing sites and 2) take prophylactic antibiotics.

Given this fictional scenario, more than 80% of adults said they would be worried about becoming seriously ill or dying, including about half (46%) of adults who said they would be "very worried" and 36% who said they would be "somewhat worried." In addition, if they heard about this attack on the news, most adults (64%) would expect the event to be part of a series of attacks, and only 27% said they would expect it to be an isolated incident.

The poll found that a majority of adults (89%) said they woul
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Contact: Christina Roache
croache@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-6052
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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