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Fears of Pandemic Flu makes Americans Ready for Change

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Willingness to Cooperate with Public Health Recommendations More than three-fourths of Americans say they would cooperate if public health officials recommended that for one month they curtail various activities of their daily lives, such as using public transportation, going to the mall, and going to church. More than nine in ten (94%) say they would stay at home away from other people for seven to ten days if they had pandemic flu. In addition, 85% say they and all members of their household would stay at home for that period if another member of their household was sick.

Nine in ten Americans (90%) say that if public health officials recommended that they and the other members of their household stay in their town or city, they were likely to stay.

These findings speak to the resilience of the American public in the face of a potential health crisis, said Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The area where anticipated cooperation is lowest involved the workplace. While a majority (57%) of employed adults say they would stay home from work if public officials said they should, even if their employers told them to come to work, about one-third (35%) say they would go to work.

Home More than eight in ten Americans (85%) say they would be able to take care of sick household members at home for 7 to 10 days, if public health officials recommended it (Figure 2). However, about three-fourths (76%) say they would be worried that if they stayed at home with a household member who was sick from pandemic flu, they themselves would get sick from the disease.

Nearly three-fourths (73%) say they would have someone to take care of them at home if they became sick with pandemic flu and had to remain at home for seven to ten days. However, about one in four (24%) say they would not have someone to take care of them. More than four in t
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