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Volume 14, Number 5—May 2008

Policy Review

Public Response to Community Mitigation Measures for Pandemic Influenza

Robert J. Blendon*Comments to Author , Lisa M. Koonin†, John M. Benson*, Martin S. Cetron†, William E. Pollard†, Elizabeth W. Mitchell†, Kathleen J. Weldon*, and Melissa J. Herrmann‡
Author affiliations: *Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡International Communications Research, Media, Pennsylvania, USA;

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Table 1

Responses to questions about ability to stay home during an influenza pandemic*

Question Possible responses
Yes No Don't know/refused to answer
Would stay at home for 7–10 d if public health officials recommended because you had flu 94 4 2
You and all members of household would stay at home for 7–10 d if public health officials recommended because a member of household had flu 85 12 4
If public health officials recommended, would be able to take care of sick household member for 7–10 d at home 85 13 2
If stayed at home with sick household member, would be worried about getting sick yourself 76 22 2
Have someone who could care for you at home if you were sick 73
24
4
Likely
Unlikely
Don't know/refused 
to answer/NA
You or a member of your household might lose pay and have money problems 48 50 1
You or a member of your household might have a hard time being stuck at home for so long 46 54 1
You might not be able to get baby formula, diapers, or other important things for a baby in your household† 45 53 1
You or a member of your household might be unable to get the health care or prescription drugs that you need 43 55 2
You might not be able to get care for a disabled person in your household‡ 36 48 15
You might not be able to get care for an older person in your household§ 35 51 15
You might have difficulty taking care of the (child/children) <5 y in your household¶ 32 67 1
You or a member of your household might lose your job or business as a result of having to stay home# 27 71 2

*From the Harvard School of Public Health, Pandemic Influenza Survey, 2006. Numbers represent percentage of responses to each question. NA, not applicable.
†Among respondents with major responsibility for children <2 y (n = 174).
‡Among respondents in households with disabled person (n = 470).
§Among respondents in households with persons >65 y (n = 408).
¶Among respondents who have major responsibility for children <5 y (n = 262).
#Among employed respondents (n = 1,101).

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