Zika is finally catching up with swine flu and Ebola as a threat in the minds of Americans.
A recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll revealed that 92 percent of American adults know generally what Zika is, 36 percent say Congress should make fully funding the fight to contain Zika a top priority, and another 40 percent think it’s an important issue but not a top Congressional priority.
That’s in stark contrast to a poll done a month ago by The Washington Post and ABC News, which found little concern among American adults about Zika. Only about of third of those surveyed then were concerned about Zika, a far smaller percentage that those who said they were worried about Ebola and swine flu at their peak.
The increase in concern among Americans happened prior to this week’s news that Zika had been found in Miami Beach, Florida; the poll was conducted Aug. 18 to 24, while Zika in Miami Beach wasn’t confirmed until early this week.
The poll also uncovered an interesting connection between Zika in Florida and vacation spots in general. Summarizing more findings, Kaiser reported:
About half of the public says they would not feel comfortable traveling to places such as parts of Florida where people have been infected with the Zika virus by mosquitoes. In addition, three-fourths (77 percent) say these places are generally unsafe for pregnant women.
Sounds like the Florida Tourism Board is going to have to bring back Anita Bryant to kick-start a new Sunshine State branding campaign.
The Zika results were among the highlights of the Kaiser poll, which focused on current health care-related political issues. Other results of the survey:
Two-thirds of voters say the future of Medicare and access and affordability of health care are top priorities for the candidates to be talking about during the 2016 presidential campaign.
More voters trust Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to do a better job dealing with health care issues than Republican candidate Donald Trump, although few believe their own ability to access affordable health care would get better regardless of which candidate is elected. Voters, age 65 and older, are split between which candidate they trust to do a better job dealing with the future of Medicare, with a similar share saying they trust Trump (44 percent) and say they trust Clinton (47 percent).
About half of Americans are concerned that an unauthorized person might get access to their confidential records and information; despite this, 80 percent say it is important that their doctors use online medical records.
Americans’ opinion of the health care law remains split, with 40 percent saying they have a favorable view and 42 percent saying they have an unfavorable view.