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Although the 8th anniversary of Sept. 11 occured Friday, more Americans are concerned about a major swine flu outbreak than another terrorist attack, according to a new poll from the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The national survey of 1,007 adults found that 67% of Americans were "concerned" or "very concerned" about the potential for a swine flu outbreak, while 62% were concerned about a terrorist attack on the U.S.
Interestingly, concern about the flu was lowest among adults most likely to be affected, those under 30 years old, with 56% saying they were concerned. Those least likely to catch the flu, age 55 and up, were most concerned at 72%. So far, about 75% of hospitalizations from swine flu, and 60% of deaths have been among those under age 49, with the youngest adults and children the most likely to catch the flu. Seasonal flu is a different story: 90% of deaths and about 60% of hospitalizations from seasonal flu are among those older than 65.
Americans were also more concerned about a swine flu outbreak than other types of disasters common in their region, such as tornadoes and floods in the South Central U.S., hurricanes in the South Atlantic region, earthquakes in the West, and blizzards in the North Atlantic and Central regions.
Few Americans say they're completely prepared to survive a disaster situation, although an amazing 82% said they think they could survive just fine or with little difficulty for two weeks without running water, electricity, and access to supplies. When asked about the 16 items recommended for home emergency kits, just 22% of respondents had at least 13 of the items.
Those who were least prepared for emergency included individuals who rented their homes, followed by adults under 30. Most respondents had a flashlight, a manual can-opener, over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers, personal hygiene supplies, a first aid kit, and a two-week supply of prescription drugs. But they lacked other survival supplies, including surgical masks, electrolyte drinks, chemical cold packs, a two week supply of food and water, over-the-counter diarrhea medications and a portable radio.