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Close Generation X meets the flu

Train commuters in Mexico City wear masks during the H1N1 influenza outbreak of 2009-10.

How do you get a generation of healthy young adults to start paying attention to infectious diseases like influenza?

Perhaps they're paying a little more attention than we realize. Researchers at the University of Michigan recently released a report on how American 30-somethings responded to the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009-10 and concluded they "did reasonably well in their first encounter with a major epidemic."

The report is based on survey data collected during the H1N1 outbreak from about 3,000 individuals aged 36-39. More than half of the respondents - 65 percent, to be exact - said they were at least moderately concerned, and nearly 60 percent said they were tracking the news about the novel flu virus either very closely or moderately closely.

Their interest didn't necessarily translate into action. Only about one in five said they actually received the H1N1 flu vaccination. But the majority of the survey participants described themselves as being fairly well informed about the flu epidemic, with the highest level of interest reported by parents of young children.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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