Kaiser poll: American public closely following Flint, Zika news and getting good information overall

The American public is following a number of healthcare- and infection-related issues in the news closely, and they mostly have a good grasp on the facts, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

Of respondents, 28 percent attested to very closely following the news regarding the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Mich., with 35 percent saying they were following it fairly closely. The next most-followed story was the Zika virus outbreak, with 20 percent of respondents reporting following it very closely and 37 percent following it fairly closely. Both of these stories trumped the number of American survey respondents following news related to the Affordable Care Act's open healthcare enrollment and the president's government funding proposal to fight opioid addiction.

Additionally, respondents who reported following the news seemed to have a good grasp on the reality of the stories. The vast majority of respondents — 76 percent — knew that Zika was most often transmitted through mosquito bites. Just over half knew that transmission was possible through sex, and 69 percent knew the virus could not be contracted by shaking hands with an infected individual.

Though only 34 percent of respondents attested to knowing "a lot" about the situation in Flint, Mich., 65 percent of respondents classified the crisis as "not under control." 

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