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Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Rational Are Our Fears Of Ebola?

Attendees hold candles at a prayer vigil on the campus of TCU for health care worker Nina Pham who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)

Attendees hold candles at a prayer vigil on the campus of TCU for health care worker Nina Pham who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)

The constant news updates on Ebola have many people around the U.S. on edge. A new Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans are worried about getting the Ebola virus despite reassurance from medical professionals that the virus is not easily spread.

President Obama said yesterday that he is “absolutely confident that we can prevent a serious outbreak of the disease here in the United States.” So why are so many people afraid of contracting the disease?

Dr. Jody Lanard, a risk communications consultant, has advised the World Health Organization on how to communicate with the public during pandemics.

She tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson that the fears of Americans are entirely rational, but will pass once they have more information.

Guest

  • Jody Lanard, psychiatrist and risk communications consultant.

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