Ebola is high on the dread scale
Definition A term which, as defined by psychologist Paul Slovic (U of Oregon) seeks to explain why certain infections–e.g., by Ebola virus, evoke irrational fear and panic in the general population.
Dread factor elements Uncontrollability, catastrophic potential, fatal consequences and involuntary exposure.
Parenthetically, it doesn’t hurt if Hollywood has glamourised (perhaps that’s not the right word) the infection by painting it with a Götterdämmerung-esque veneer, casting Morgan Freeman (why is it always Morgan Freeman?) as the only voice of reason in a sea of chickens running around with their heads cut off).