Full Impact Of Ebola Yet To Be Felt

Since the first officially reported case in Guinea on March 21, the West Africa Ebola outbreak has spread to three other countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and, most recently, Nigeria). At the time of writing, the virus is thought to have infected over 1,600 people and killed more than 900, and we expect these numbers to rise steadily over the coming weeks, as governments and foreign aid agencies battle to contain the spread of the virus. With no known vaccine or pharmaceutical in the imminent pipeline that has been proven to control or cure Ebola, the authorities will be forced to rely on traditional public health methods, namely through the isolation of cases. While it is impossible to predict how much further - and for how much longer - the virus will spread, we believe that efforts to contain the outbreak will be hampered by weak state capacity, lack of public funding, and poor health infrastructure. The rising number of cases in Nigeria is a growing concern and underlines the potential for the disease to spread to new countries.

We discuss the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak in a special feature in Business Monitor Online.