Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Most Doctors Foresee Some Risk Swine Flu Will Become Worldwide Catastrophic Pandemic

A national study among 1,039 physicians released today revealed that a majority of physicians reported that there is some level of risk that the Swine Flu will result in a worldwide catastrophic pandemic.

More than 63 percent of the physicians shared that opinion, the study reported. But only 15 percent of the physicians responded by saying that the government was prepared to deal with a pandemic.

CNN reported at 11:20 p.m. Eastern that 159 people have died of swine flu in Mexico. Hospitalizations for suspected cases of the illness have declined, Mexican Health Minister Jose Cordova said today that there are 1,311 people in the hospital with flu symptoms. The Health Ministry’s fatality estimate increased from 152 yesterday. In the United States, there were 69 suspected cases.

The study, conducted on Monday by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, was designed to obtain physicians' perceptions of the recent news that The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared a public health emergency in regard to swine flu.

Above top left is a colorized transmission electron micrograph depicting the A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1) virus, while in the virus’ first developmental passage through a chicken egg. This is an H1N1 strain of influenza A. (Photo credit: Dr. E. Palmer; R.E. Bates; published on www.sciencedaily.com.)

When asked to rate the federal government's level of preparedness to deal with a swine flu pandemic, 15 percent of physicians reported that the government was prepared to deal with a pandemic. Less than one-quarter of physicians (21 percent) reported that the government was not prepared for a pandemic. A similar percentage of physicians (22 percent) were either concerned or extremely concerned that the virus would have an impact on their families, and 16 percent were not concerned that it would have an impact on their families

Among the findings:

Physicians were asked: On a scale of one to seven, where one indicates that your belief that the current situation has a no risk of resulting in a catastrophic pandemic (a large number of deaths worldwide) and seven indicates an extremely high risk, please rate how risky you believe a swine flu epidemic to be. Indicate your prediction regarding the outcome of potential situation.
They responded:

1 - No Risk 1%
2 - Low Risk 13%
Bottom 2 14%
3 - Somewhat Low Risk 14%
4 - Neither At Risk or Not At Risk 9%
5 - Somewhat At Risk 49%
Top 2 14%
6 - High Risk 12%
7 - Extremely High Risk 2%

They were then asked: Using a similar scale, where one indicates that the government is unprepared for a pandemic and seven indicates that the government is extremely prepared; please rate our government's ability to prepare for a possible pandemic.
They responded:

1 - Not At All Prepared 5%
2 - Not Prepared 16%
Bottom 2 21%
3 - Somewhat Not Prepared 16%
4 - Neutral 12%
5 - Somewhat Prepared 36%
Top 2 15%
6 - Prepared 14%
7 - Completely Prepared 1%

They were also asked: Based on what you may or may not already know about the swine flu cases originating from Mexico, please indicate your level of concern regarding whether this virus will have an impact on you and your family using a scale from one to seven. One indicates you have no concern and seven indicates you are extremely concerned.
They responded:

1 - Not At All Concerned 3%
2 - Not Concerned 12%
Bottom 2 15%
3 - Somewhat Not Concerned 11%
4 - Neutral 12%
5 - Somewhat Concerned 41%
Top 2 21%
6 - Concerned 18%
7 - Extremely Concerned 4%

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