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Ebola Epidemic Could Cost Africa More Than $30B: World Bank

/ Source: CNBC.com

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The United Nations warned on Wednesday that if Ebola spreads to some of Africa's larger economies, the regional financial impact could hit $32.6 billion by the end of 2015. The admonition from the World Bank came as over 7,400 cases of the current outbreak of Ebola have been reported, causing more than 3,430 deaths.

The World Bank's report envisaged a scenario called "High Ebola", which sees slow containment of the virus and subsequent contagion across West Africa. It stressed that the economic impact on the three countries worst-affected -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- was already "very serious", and would become "catastrophic under a slow containment, High Ebola scenario." The institution called for immediate action to help stop the epidemic and alleviate the "fear factor". This would discourage neighboring countries from closing their borders and airlines, and stop the suspension of commercial activities in the affected regions. The World Bank highlighted that both Nigeria and Senegal had so far successfully contained Ebola, demonstrating that it is possible with the right health systems and policies.

IN-DEPTH

-- Jessica Morris, CNBC

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