According to the Financial Times, more than 45% of Americans believe that they, or close friends and relatives, will contract the Ebola virus.
Even if this were a rogue poll, that is a remarkably high percentage when one considers that only four people have tested positive for Ebola in the US, three of whom have since recovered.
Why are people so worried?
Firstly, the issue has become a deeply political one. President Obama has resisted calls to ban flights between the United States and the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak is at its worst.