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Polls Examine Americans’ Views, Knowledge Of Ebola

News outlets report on findings from a new poll on Americans’ views on Ebola conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, as well as another poll conducted by Harvard University.

The Hill: Poll: Most Americans confident in CDC to handle Ebola
“The majority of Americans have confidence in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contain the spread of the Ebola virus within the United States, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, found 73 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the CDC to control the virus. … There are slightly lower levels of confidence in local hospitals and health departments to handle infections, however. More broadly, Americans remain confident that there will not be a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States…” (McCabe, 10/16).

Kaiser Health News: Poll: Many Unaware How Ebola Is Spread
“A new survey finds the public has a lot to learn about how the Ebola virus is transmitted, which could help explain the growing fears of the disease. The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while nearly all adults (97 percent) know a person can become infected through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of someone who is sick with Ebola, there are still misconceptions. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)…” (Galewitz, 10/16).

Reuters: Majority of Americans believe Ebola spreads through air: poll
“A majority of Americans believe the Ebola virus can be spread by sneezing or coughing and more than a third fear that they or someone in their immediate family may contract the deadly disease in the next year, according to a Harvard University poll…” (Malone, 10/16).

Washington Post: Half of Americans fundamentally misunderstand Ebola
“There’s a reason politicians are mentioning Ebola on the campaign trail: Many Americans are reasonably concerned about the disease. But why are people that concerned about Ebola? Well, in large part, it’s because they fundamentally misunderstand it. Case in point: A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The poll asked Americans a series of questions about how the disease can spread from one person to another. As you might imagine, they flunked the test…” (Blake, 10/16).

Washington Post: Ebola is scarier when you don’t know how it’s spread
“As Americans are becoming increasingly fearful of Ebola, there’s still some pretty notable confusion about how the deadly virus is spread, according to new polling. Even though 70 percent of U.S. adults say they’re closely following news about Ebola, just 36 percent know that a person infected with the deadly virus must be showing symptoms to transmit the infection to others, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll…” (Millman, 10/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.