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For Immediate Release

Truven Health Analytics Survey Finds Americans Split on Whether Enough Being Done to Protect Population Against Zika Virus

One in Five Have Not Heard of the Virus, While One in 10 Have Changed Travel Plans Because of It

Ann Arbor, MI, Jun. 23, 2016 — 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. Truven Health Analytics™, an IBM company, conducts a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

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. Nearly half (49 percent) said that not enough is being done to protect people from the Zika virus, while 51 percent said adequate action has been taken. Overall, 42 percent said they were either concerned or very concerned that the virus will pose a health risk in the United States.

Additionally, 59 percent of respondents said that the population has been adequately informed about the virus, while 41 percent said it has not. When asked about their awareness of the Zika virus, one-in-five (19 percent) said they had never heard of it, and 42 percent 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 percent were aware of the association with Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can lead to muscle weakness, respiratory complications, and in five percent of cases, death.

To date, the Truven Health PULSE Survey has explored a wide range of topics, including generic drugs, preventive screenings, genetic testing, and high deductible health plans. The Truven Health PULSE Survey is the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative multi-modal poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from 80, 000 US households annually. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 008 participants interviewed from March 1-15, 2016. The margin of error is 1.8 percentage points.

To access a summary of the Truven Health PULSE Survey, click here.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Ariana Nikitas, Ariana.nikitas@truvenhealth.com, 312.533.3437
Brian Erni for Truven Health Analytics, J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations, brian@jroderick.com, 631.584.2200