- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Media coverage is intense and often alarming on the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and the recent arrival of two patients in the U.S. to receive treatment. Is the nation worried?

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 58 percent of Americans are concerned personally about the threat of Ebola disease while 46 percent think it is at least somewhat likely that disease will get into the general population of the United States. Just as many - 47 percent - say that’s unlikely.

The public is aware of shrill press coverage: 48 percent of Americans believe the press tend to make the outbreak of such diseases sound worse than they really are 29 percent disagree, 23 percent are not sure. Two thirds of Americans, however, are closely following the reports.

If the disease does surface, 55 percent are confident that the U.S. public health system can contain it, 38 percent are not. And about a practical solution: 53 percent think it’s at least somewhat likely that a vaccine for Ebola will be developed in the next 10 years.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted on August 1-25.

A physicians with a big public profile has dire thoughts about Ebola, and its new presence in the U.S.

“Ebola is a terrifying disease. I am a little concerned that we’re bringing it back here,” Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV on Monday. “It can survive outside the host, for several days at least. Why do we even risk such things when we can send experts? We can send a plane. We can create a hospital somewhere. We can export that preparedness.”

The doctor adds, “Why would we bring that into our country, why would do we expose ourselves? I certainly would have treated it where it is. All it requires is some infractions in procedures, and all of sudden, it’s spread.”

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