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Study Unveils Reaction to Swine Flu in Latin America


Livra Panels, the leading online market research supplier in Latin America, surveyed more than 5,700 people from eight countries to assess the level of information, alarm and the precaution people in Latin America have been taking.*

The swine flu has yet to hit home for most Americans and Europeans, but in Mexico, 23% of those Livra surveyed knew someone who suspected they had swine flu while 7% of those interviewed knew someone who had been diagnosed with the disease. Despite the higher infection rate in Mexico, only 21% of Mexicans felt threatened by the disease in comparison to 35% of Colombians, 30% of Peruvians and 23% of Argentines.

This perceived sense of danger likely impacted respondents´ opinion of whether or not people should be forbidden to travel to and from Mexico as a means to prevent disease. Only 21% of Mexicans reported that this was an advisable measure while 67% of the respondents from other countries agreed that travel should be prohibited. This discrepancy might be due to the fact that 65% of Mexicans thought that the swine flu would have a significant economic impact.

Another misconception seems to be around symptoms. Ninety-seven percent of respondents in Livra´s study listed high fever and headache as the primary symptoms of the swine flu. Meanwhile, many suffering from the swine flu do not have a fever, making it difficult to screen patients and monitor travelers.

In terms of reaction, 87% of those surveyed said that if diagnosed they would go straight to a hospital or doctor whereas the CDC and other health organizations recommend people to stay home and avoid contact with other people, unless their condition absolutely requires medical care.

The survey also captured the rapid response to combat the swine flu. Upon outbreak of the disease, schools and offices were shut down and travel was prohibited. Seventy-seven percent of Mexicans reported that they changed their daily activities. In fact, 33% did not attend their classes and 30% canceled social outings. The one element of daily life that did not change was purchasing behavior. Seventy percent of Mexicans responded that they have not changed the manner in which they buy goods.


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 latin america
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