How concerned are Americans about an Ebola outbreak?

Licensed clinician Dennis Salter is decontaminated before disrobing at the end of the simulated training session on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Anniston, Ala.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

As officials continue to monitor the people who may have been exposed to Thomas Eric Duncan - who died Wednesday after being the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. - Americans show concern about a possible outbreak of the deadly disease inside the U.S., according to a new CBS News poll Most Americans are at least somewhat concerned, and most don't think the federal government is prepared to deal with it.

Concern about Ebola

Nearly seven in 10 Americans say they are at least somewhat concerned that there will be a large outbreak of Ebola within the United States, including 40 percent who say they are very concerned. Less than a third says they are either not very or not at all concerned.

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Is the Federal Government Prepared?

Even though officials continue to say that the risk of a large Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, most Americans don't think the federal government is prepared to deal with an outbreak of the disease if one should occur. Just 40% think the federal government is adequately prepared for an outbreak of Ebola, while 54% do not think it is adequately prepared.

There are partisan differences when assessing a possible government response to Ebola. Most Republicans (56%) and independents (58%) don't think the federal government is prepared to deal with an outbreak of Ebola, while Democrats are divided.

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This poll was conducted by telephone October 3-6, 2014 among 1,260 adults nationwide. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher.

Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and The New York Times by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls