Only one illness besides COVID-19 has ever ranked as Americans’ top concern about health problems facing the country: AIDS, named by 62% of respondents in 1987.

A year ago, Americans were optimistic that the pandemic would stop being a major news story by this time. That has not turned out to be the case, however.

Nearly half of U.S. adults named viruses as the country’s top health problem, with the vast majority of these (45%) specifically mentioning COVID-19 or the coronavirus, according to a recent Gallup poll. This figure was down from 69% in November 2020.

Health care concerns chart

As mentions of the coronavirus have declined over the past year, the percentages citing health care access and cost have increased, although neither has returned to its pre-pandemic level. Gallup’s most recent survey that included this question was in November 2018.

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