Levels of concern about avian flu have diminished

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, July 06, 2007

According to a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, levels of concern about avian (or bird) flu have diminished in the United States over the last 12 months.

Currently, about one quarter of respondents (27%) indicate more than a moderate level of concern about avian flu in the United States generally, down eight percentage points from last year. However, these concerns seem concentrated at a general level, with fewer respondents indicating avian flu is a threat to personal health. Only 15% of respondents report more than a moderate level of concern about avian flu as a risk to themselves or their families.

At the same time that concerns regarding avian flu are ebbing in the United States, other statistics suggest the numbers of human cases of avian flu may be stabilizing. Statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that the total number of confirmed cases in 2007 (50 up until mid-June) may be no higher than those reported in 2006 (115 for the whole year).

Recall of news coverage about avian flu is also on the decline. The proportion of Americans saying they have read, heard or seen at least some coverage about it is now 56%, down 18 percentage points from 74% a year ago.

A majority of Americans (62%) now feel that government leaders are giving enough attention to the issue. Nearly a third (32%), however, would like to see avian flu given a greater focus. As in 2006, the vast majority of Americans report that news about avian flu is not impacting their eating habits when it comes to poultry or poultry products: roughly nine in ten say that there has been no change in their consumption of each of chicken, turkey or eggs.