Americans are split on the question of whether enough action has been taken to protect the public against the Zika virus, according to the Truven Health PULSE Survey.
The latest survey asked respondents about their awareness of the virus, any preventive measures they have taken and their opinion on whether enough is being done to inform and protect the American public, according to a press release from Truven Health. Nearly half (49%) said that not enough is being done to protect people from the Zika virus, while 51% said adequate action has been taken. Overall, 42% said they were either concerned or very concerned that the virus will pose a health risk in the United States.
Additionally, 59% of respondents said that the population has been adequately informed about the virus, while 41% said it has not. When asked about their awareness of the Zika virus, one-in-five (19%) said they had never heard of it, and 42% said they do not know how to prevent becoming infected. Eleven percent of respondents said they have changed upcoming travel plans because of their concerns.
“The Zika virus is spreading to new areas around the world,” said Michael Taylor, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. “Unfortunately, it’s just a matter of time before we see cases in the United States as the mosquito that spreads the virus is found across the southern states. For now, the only defense is avoiding mosquito bites by staying inside, wearing protective clothing and using CDC-recommended mosquito repellents.”
Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they were aware that contracting the Zika virus during pregnancy can lead to microcephaly, a significantly smaller-than-expected head, in the child. However, just 43% were aware of the association with Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can lead to muscle weakness, respiratory complications, and in 5% of cases, death.