Canadians increasingly concerned, but confident on Ebola containment: Poll

New Ipsos Reid survey suggests more Canadians worry about Ebola entering Canada, more believe officials can contain it

Canadians feel increasingly concerned about the possibility of an Ebola outbreak, but are more confident of the government’s ability to contain it according to a new poll.

79 per cent of Canadians polled in an Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of Global News expressed concerns that Ebola will spread to Canada. The polling firm says this marks a significant increase from the 62 per cent surveyed in a similar August poll.

The firm says it interviewed 1,009 Canadian adults online for the survey.

Ebola spreads through direct contact with the body fluids of a human or animal infected with the virus. A deadly outbreak in West Africa has brought fears of the virus spreading to other countries.

While more Canadians showed greater concern, the same poll found 72 per cent feel “increasingly confident” in the efforts that government and health officials have made to prevent Ebola from entering the country.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Taylor released a statement saying there’s “low risk” of Ebola ever coming to Canada. Taylor said he’s confident in the Canadian hospitals’ ability to contain any potential cases of Ebola.

“Our hospitals have strong infection control systems and procedures in place designed to limit the spread of infection, protect health care workers, and provide the best care possible for the patient,” Taylor said.

On Oct. 8, Minister of Health Rona Ambrose announced new measures to screen travellers to Canada from Ebola-affected regions. These measures included an increased number of quarantine officers at six Canadian airports who will now administer temperature checks to travellers who notify Border Services.

Both Taylor and Ambrose held a press conference Monday in Toronto to announce the launch of clinical trials for a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine.

No direct flights enter Canada from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the countries hit the hardest by the outbreak.

To date, Canada has never had a reported case of an Ebola infection.