American Red Cross survey: Adults are worried about swine flu, taking precaution
WASHINGTON One-in-three Americans are worried about the H1N1 outbreak, but more than half of the people are paying extra attention to good hygiene and preparedness as a way of protecting themselves from the virus, according to a poll released Wednesday by the American Red Cross.
The survey of 1,004 U.S. adults, taken May 1 to 4, shows that four-out-of-five of those surveyed reported that they are following the flu story very or fairly closely, and 36% said they were either very worried (8%) or somewhat worried (28%) about this flu virus.
But the flu outbreak has prompted people to take more steps to prevent the spread of the virus, with 55% saying they are paying extra attention to proper hand washing; 48% covering their coughs more, and 41% disinfecting surfaces more. In addition, more than one in three have used hand sanitizers more and made an extra effort to avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
“This swine flu virus continues to have the potential to spread throughout the U.S.,” stated Scott Conner, SVP American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety Services. “Families, businesses and organizations should continue to follow good public health practices and to review and update their preparedness plans. … Even if this version of the swine flu virus is not as dangerous as initially feared, public health officials worry that it could come back in a more severe form later this year. The Red Cross believes that prudent preparedness steps now can help keep families healthy throughout the year.”
The survey did show that 11% said someone in the household had gone to work or school when they had the seasonal flu, and 22% indicated that they have gone to school or work within five days of having flu symptoms.
Two-in-five are misguided about flu shots as 39% incorrectly believe that a seasonal flu shot offers some protection from H1N1.
Perrigo reports growth in Q3
ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Thursday reported revenues of $505.9 million on 5% growth for its third quarter ended March 28, including $419.1 million across its consumer healthcare division, representing a 12% increase.
“In this quarter, the over-the-counter category [as a whole] fell 3% versus third quarter last year and the national brand category fell more than 7%, while Perrigo Consumer Healthcare grew 12%,” commented Joe Papa, Perrigo chairman and CEO. “We were able to achieve this growth rate despite the fact that we are comparing the results to the launches of omeprazole [Prilosec OTC] and cetirizine [Zyrtec] at this time last year. More consumers than ever are realizing the value that store brands have to offer.”
On Feb. 20, Perrigo announced that it began shipping its combination sleep aid-analgesic ibuprofen and diphenhydramine citrate tablets, 200/38-mg. The product is comparable with Wyeth Consumer Healthcare’s Advil PM tablets, 200/38-mg, which generated approximately $71 million in brand sales for the 12 months ended Dec. 21, Perrigo reported.
CDC confirms 896 swine flu cases
ATLANTA The number of confirmed H1N1 cases in the United States climbed to 896 cases, with two deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday morning.
“The ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the United States,” the agency stated. “CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks.”
CDC has issued guidance for health care providers on the use of antiviral medications during the current outbreak. The priority use for influenza antiviral drugs is to treat severe influenza illness and people who are at high risk of serious influenza-related conditions.
And CDC has developed a PCR diagnostic test kit to detect this novel H1N1 virus and has now distributed test kits to all states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This increase in testing capacity is likely to result in an increase in the number of reported confirmed cases in this country, which should provide a more accurate picture of the burden of disease in the United States.