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MD Poll: Majority Concerned About Ebola Outbreak, Plurality Think Hospitals Unprepared

MD Poll: Majority Concerned About Ebola Outbreak, Plurality Think Hospitals Unprepared

A strong majority of Maryland residents are at least somewhat concerned that an Ebola outbreak will occur in the United States and a plurality do not feel that Maryland’s health care system is prepared for one. 

A Goucher poll found that 66 percent of Marylanders are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the United States while 33 percent are either “a little” or “not at all” concerned. The poll found that 44 percent “think Maryland is unprepared” while “38 percent think Maryland is prepared” to handle a potential crisis.

“With the first reported U.S. case and an Ebola patient being housed at the NIH facility here in Maryland, it is no wonder residents are expressing high levels of concern about a potential outbreak of a highly infectious disease,” Mileah Kromer, the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, said in a statement. “And even though Maryland is home to some of the world’s best health care facilities, residents don’t believe Maryland is prepared to handle an outbreak.”

The Obama administration has refused to institute a travel ban even after Liberian immigrant Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person on American soil to be diagnosed with Ebola last week. Duncan reportedly had a layover at Dulles Airport, which is in the D.C. region, en route to Texas. Last weekend, two hospitals in the D.C. area admitted patients with “Ebola-like symptoms.” One patient was ultimately diagnosed with Malaria while the other was cleared of Ebola. 

A Census report last week determined that “Maryland and Virginia are top destinations for African-born immigrants” and immigrants from “Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Ghana make up 41 percent of the African-born total” in the country. Maryland (120,000 African immigrants) is fourth on the list of states with the most African immigrants, according to the Census, behind New York (164,000), California (155,000), and Texas (134,000).

The survey was conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2 and has a margin of error of +/-  3.7 percentage points.


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