As West African countries battle to control the outbreak of Ebola, fears that the virus could spread globally has created panic in Europe and the United States.
Meeting in Washington, the World Bank has calculated the alarming cost of contagion.
“The World Bank released a new economic impact assessment that said if the (Ebola) epidemic is not quickly contained and if it spreads to other countries, the two year regional financial impact could reach $32.6bn by 2015. That would be catastrophic for the people of the West Africa region,” explained Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.
Europe is currently on alert over spread of Ebola virus. A Briton is suspected to have died from the virus in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. His hotel in Skopje has been sealed off, isolating a second Briton and staff.
It was unclear, however, whether the man had recently been to West Africa, where Ebola has killed nearly 4,000 people since March in the largest outbreak on record.
A third Ebola patient has arrived in Germany from Africa. The UN employee, infected in Liberia, is being treated in Leipzig in a special isolation unit.
“We received him at 5 o’clock this morning in a special ambulance flight,” a news conference was told by Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Gruenewald of St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig.
“We found him to be in a stable but extremely critical condition.”
Elsewhere, a Prague hospital is testing a 56-year-old Czech man with symptoms of the virus, a hospital spokesman said. And French authorities sealed off a building near Paris after four people inside fell ill but officials said later it was a false alarm.
In Australia health officials in Queensland are testing a 57-year-old nurse who has recently returned from Sierra Leone. She had been a volunteer with the Red Cross in West Africa, treating patients with Ebola and arrived back in Cairns.
Materials prepared with aid of information agencies