Friday, October 17, 2014

Poll: Many Unaware How Ebola Is Spread

By Phil Galewitz
KHN Staff Writer

Content provided by Kaiser Health News

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.)

One third of respondents are unaware they cannot become infected through the air. About 45  percent are unaware they cannot contract Ebola by shaking hands with someone who has been exposed to the virus but who does not have symptoms.

And only slightly more than a third (36 percent) of respondents know that a person must be showing Ebola symptoms to transmit the infection, the poll found.

The survey, which was fielded after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, and remained in the field after a nurse who helped care for him contracted the disease, finds most Americans say they trust local, state, and federal health authorities to contain the disease  in the U.S.

The public was near evenly split on the federal government’s response to the crisis. About 45 percent said the government was doing enough to fight the disease in Africa and 48 percent said it was doing enough to protect Americans.

The telephone poll of 1,503 adults was conducted from October 8-14 and has a margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

My family doctor's office has posted a sign on their door saying they will not see any patients that have traveled to Africa in the last 30 days. The sign goes on to tell the patients to contact the CDC with questions. Have doctors in Texas been told by the CDC not to see anyone who has traveled to anywhere in Africa? I find this hard to believe since many places in Africa have seen no cases of Ebola and are in fact much further away from the affected areas than many places in Europe.

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