Swine Flu Survey: How Scared Are You?

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Never mind how unlikely your imminent swine flu case actually is, how freaked out are you by the possibility you’ll catch the disease? Researchers at Stanford are tracking answers to this (paraphrased) question through an anonymous online swine flu survey, which you can take here.

Via Marcel Salathé at Miller-McCune:

Clearly, people are aware of the swine flu, but they perceive the threat very differently and react very differently. How awareness and the consequent behavioral change affects the spread of an epidemic is a topic of intense research—just this past week, my colleague Sebastian Funk at the Royal Holloway University of London published the results of a mathematical model that demonstrates how awareness can alter the progression of an epidemic.

What we need now are good data on the level of awareness, on how people perceive the threat of a pandemic and on how they will react to it. Such data are rare and generally collected only after an epidemic has passed. This is problematic because what we are currently experiencing and what we will remember in the future to have experienced now can be vastly different. The goal of our survey is to gather such data as the epidemic unfolds—that is, right now.

Well worth checking out the Miller-McCune backgrounder on the survey—don’t miss those vintage flu warning posters.

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And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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