Big rise in UK Ebola concerns

William JordanUS Elections Editor
October 09, 2014, 10:05 AM GMT+0

Over half of British people now expect the Ebola outbreak to spread to the United Kingdom, up from a third in late July

This week the world learned of the first known case of someone contracting Ebola outside of West Africa, where an outbreak of the deadly virus has been raging since springtime. A Spanish nurse contracted the disease while treating two missionaries at a hospital in Madrid, and her case has raised concerns over quarantine procedures in European hospitals.

A YouGov poll finds that most people in Britain now see it as very or fairly likely that Ebola will spread to the United Kingdom. The number worried Ebola will reach British shores has increased by 20 points since late July, and the number who think it’s a “very likely” even has doubled from 6% to 13%.

By late July 1200 cases of Ebola had already been reported in West Africa, according to the WHO, with just under 700 deaths as a result. Today the death toll is nearing 4000 worldwide.

The number of British people who say the Ebola outbreak is an important news story has also increased slightly, from 81% to 88%, including 57% who say it is a “very important story”, up from 47%. In comparison, air strikes on the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria are rated as an important story by 90% and very important by 62%, only slightly ahead of the Ebola outbreak.

Concern has also grown in the United States, following the discovery that a man who had contracted Ebola in Liberia had made it to Dallas, Texas. The man died on Wednesday, making him the first US Ebola fatality.

Image: PA

See the full poll results