Story highlights

Majority of Americans say the federal government is doing a "good job" responding to Ebola

Finding comes as Obama's approval rating is only 45%

Washington CNN —  

Ebola is very much on the minds of Americans, as 8 in 10 Americans believe someone new will be diagnosed with the disease in the coming weeks. But there is overwhelming confidence in the federal government’s ability to prevent a nationwide epidemic, a new CNN/ORC International Poll shows.

More than 7 in 10 Americans say the federal government can stop an Ebola epidemic, and 54% believe the federal government is doing a “good job” in addressing the disease.

READ: Boy tested for Ebola in NYC

The high marks on the government’s response to Ebola come at the same time that President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating is only 45% and Americans are angry over the direction of the country.

A slightly smaller majority of Americans, 53%, think that hospitals and healthcare workers in their community are prepared to treat an Ebola case, but only 26% believe that someone in their area will become infected with the disease in the next few weeks.

“Most Americans seem to recognize that they are not in personal jeopardy themselves,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “In fact, the vast majority of Americans probably don’t know anyone who has ever been to West Africa.”

The poll comes as a national discussion over how to process people traveling from the Ebola hot zones into the United States is taking place. It shows that only 3 in 10 Americans believe the U.S. government should prevent foreign citizens traveling from West Africa from entering the U.S, while 2 in 10 Americans say that U.S. citizens returning from the hot zone should be stopped from entering the country. A strong majority, though, are in favor of quarantining people who show signs of having contracted the disease.

More than 7 in 10 Americans say the federal government should take steps to treat Ebola in both Africa and the U.S., while 27% believe that it should be addressed only here in the U.S. The U.S. government has sent military troops to the hot zone to provide assistance. On Monday, 11 personnel including Army Major General Darryl A. Williams were placed under “controlled monitoring” at a U.S. base in Italy after returning from West Africa.

Americans are split 50% to 48% when asked if they would take an Ebola vaccine if it became available.

In terms of the midterm elections, 36% of Americans say Ebola will be “extremely important” to their vote for Congress – placing it right in the middle of the most important issues on people’s minds, according to the poll.

Extremely Important to Your Vote for Congress

· Economy 46%

· Terrorism 45%

· ISIS 41%

· Healthcare 41%

· Budget Deficit 38%

· Ebola 36%

· Immigration 32%

· Foreign Affairs 29%

· Gun Policy 28%

· Race Relations 24%

· Same-sex marriage 17%