Poll: Many are taking precautions to avoid Zika

Most people living in the South are taking action to keep mosquitoes away from their homes, according to a new poll.

The Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll found that 57 percent of Southerners removed standing water from around their home and 24 percent had a pest control company spray around their homes.

More Southerners are taking action than people living elsewhere in the country. Overall, 46 percent of Americans have removed standing water from around their homes and 17 percent had a pest control company spray on their property, according to the poll.

In the West, only 37 percent of people removed standing water and 13 percent had the area around their homes sprayed, according to the poll.

Americans are also taking other Zika-related precautions, such as using mosquito repellent (50 percent), avoiding travel to another country (42 percent) or places in the U.S. (36 percent) where people are being infected, avoided activities or places where there are mosquitoes (37 percent), wearing long sleeves or pants (33 percent) and installing window or door screens (30 percent).

One in five Americans have not taken any measures to protect themselves.

Of those, 68 percent say it’s because they do not think they are at risk, 11 percent say they don’t think it would be that serious if they caught the virus and 3 percent say they don’t know how to protect themselves.

In the recent poll, 61 percent of people said they were closely following the news about Zika; 92 percent of Americans have at least heard or read a little bit about Zika. But only 2 percent of people know someone who has been affected by the virus.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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