Two charts that explain why Ebola fears are misplaced

Posted at 11:34 AM, Nov 18, 2014

A surgeon died Monday from Ebola after he was flown to Omaha from Sierra Leone for treatment, bringing the number of Ebola deaths in the United States to two. Chances of infection in America remain extremely low, but that hasn't stopped Americans from worrying about the virus.

Nearly one in five Americans say the Ebola virus is the most urgent health problem facing the country at the present time, according to a Gallup poll taken in early November. Ebola was the third-most often cited problem in the poll-- slightly below affordable healthcare and access to healthcare. 

However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the leading causes of death in America kill hundreds of thousands more people each year than Ebola.

“What would you say is the most urgent health problem facing this country at the present time?”Source: GallupLegendItemLabel: label text hereAffordable healthcareAccess to healthcareEbola virusObesityCancerFinding cures for diseasesGovernment interferenceDrug/Alcohol abuseFlu19%18%10%10%3%2%2%2%1%1%1%1%17%Mental illnessAIDSHeart diseaseDiabetes

Leading causes of death in the United StatesSource: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionEbola virusCancerDrug overdoseInfluenza/pneumoniaSuicideAIDSHeart diseaseDiabetes2 575,00041,50153,82638,2857,683598,00073,282

[Also on Ebola: Aids legacy shapes government's Ebola response]

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