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New Mexico Adds H1N1 Questions To Annual Survey

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The New Mexico Department of Health is adding questions about H1N1 influenza symptoms and vaccine to its annual Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. Department of Health staff calls New Mexicans to gather information on behaviors and risk factors for chronic and infectious diseases and other health conditions among adults in New Mexico.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the survey, which is conducted in every state. The CDC is requiring all states to ask 12 questions in the survey from September through March 2010. The questions will be about influenza-like illnesses that people and children with asthma may have experienced.

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The Department will ask another set of 12 H1N1 questions from October through June 2010. These questions will be about whether people have received the vaccine for H1N1. Special attention will be given to health care workers in this set of questions.

“We are helping the CDC learn more information about the choices people make regarding vaccines and how many people have had H1N1 symptoms and whether they sought care,” said Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, MD.

The Department’s survey unit in the Epidemiology and Response Division is calling about 9,000 individuals during days, nights and weekends throughout 2009. Staff conducts surveys in English and Spanish. The phone numbers are randomly generated, and staff does not know or collect the person’s name or address that they are calling.

The national survey asks for demographic information and covers such topics as health care access, exercise, diabetes, oral health, Native American health issues, disability, tobacco use, falls, seatbelt use, anxiety and depression, and cancer screening. Staff is calling 250 cell phone users for the first time this year.