Public Health

Americans Worry More About Swine Flu

Seems like Americans are waking up to swine flu's likely return. Sort of.

swine flu virus i i

Ready for H1N1? CDC hide caption

itoggle caption CDC
swine flu virus

Ready for H1N1?

CDC

A third of people think swine flu will infect them or family members, compared with just one in five who felt that way in May, says a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Wednesday.

Most people—55 percent—now say they'll get immunized once a vaccine is available, up 9 percent from a few months ago.

Still, the public perceptions are at odds with government projections of the risks—as many as half of Americans could come down with swine flu this fall and winter. Some 1.8 million may need hospital care.

Polls are one thing. Markets are another. So we like to check in with the Iowa Electronic Health Markets, where people can place their electronic bets on swine flu, and a bunch of other stuff.

Hmmm. The betters there are telling us there's a 60 percent chance H1N1 will account for only 5 to 20 percent of flu samples tested this coming flu season. Maybe someone should take a look at the recent data from New Zealand, where 80 percent of flu samples tested in July, the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, came back positive for swine flu.

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