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Iran Press TV

Ebola could cost West Africa's economy $32bn: WB

Iran Press TV

Wed Oct 8, 2014 2:46PM GMT

The World Bank has warned that the deadly Ebola virus could cost the West African countries more than USD 32 billion if it is not contained over the next year.

On Wednesday, the World Bank said in a new report that if efforts to halt the spread of the virus in the West African countries did not work by the end of December, the region would face an economic catastrophe by the end of next year.

The bank added that the economic catastrophe could be prevented if "immediate national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating aversion behavior.'

It also stated that if the epidemic was brought under control by the end of this year, the cost would be about USD 359 million in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- the three countries most affected by the virus.

Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

Ebola remains one of the world's most virulent diseases, which kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who contract the disease.

It has so far killed about 3,500 people mostly in West African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.

SZH/AB/SS



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