Two charts that explain why Ebola fears are misplaced

Nearly 1 in 5 list virus as most urgent health problem

Washington, D.C. - 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: Gallup LegendItem Label: label text here Affordable healthcare Access to healthcare Ebola virus Obesity Cancer Finding cures for diseases Government interference Drug/Alcohol abuse Flu 19% 18% 10% 10% 3% 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 17% Mental illness AIDS Heart disease Diabetes

Leading causes of death in the United States Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ebola virus Cancer Drug overdose Influenza/pneumonia Suicide AIDS Heart disease Diabetes 2 575,000 41,501 53,826 38,285 7,683 598,000 73,282

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

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