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Poll: Americans' concerns over H1N1 virus easing

  • Story Highlights
  • Poll indicates that only one in six Americans is concerned about family getting virus
  • Sixty-three percent of those polled say they were never worried
  • Nearly four in 10 questioned said the government has overreacted
By Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A new national poll indicates that only one in six Americans is worried that someone in the family will get the H1N1 flu.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Tuesday morning, indicates that concern over the flu, also known as the swine flu, has diminished, with 17 percent of people questioned saying they are worried that they or someone in their family will fall victim to the flu. An additional 20 percent say they were worried in the past few weeks, but are no longer concerned. Sixty-three percent of those polled say they were never worried, but the poll suggests that there is a large gender gap on that measure. Among men, 71 percent said they have never worried about the flu; for women, that figure drops to 55 percent.

"Women are more likely than men to worry about the flu, possibly because women tend to fill the role of "health monitor" in American families," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll also suggests that most Americans, 54 percent, think that the federal government's response to the flu has been appropriate. But nearly four in 10 questioned said the government has overreacted.

"Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to say that the government's response has been appropriate," Holland said.

The poll's release comes after an assistant principal in New York City died after being hospitalized with the H1N1 virus. New York City's health commissioner said Monday that the man had an underlying medical condition. If the death is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the case would be the sixth linked to swine flu in the United States. The CDC has confirmed three in Texas, one in Arizona and one in Washington state.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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