Troops are sent out in Liberia and Sierra Leone to enforce quarantine on affected communities, and the World Bank and African Development Bank pledge hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funds to help struggling national healthcare systems. As the Ebola crisis deepens, Joel Flynn asks whether the world is taking enough notice, and whether its impact is now beginning to be felt economically.
It could be the stuff of science fiction - a deadly disease that threatens the human race. Ebola in West Africa isn't yet on that blockbuster scale, but the world is beginning to worry. New York is testing a man with symptoms of the disease. And some health centres in the affected region are being forced to close. Amos B Richards is a Liberian medic. SOUNDBITE: Physician's Assistant, Amos B Richards, saying (English): "The health workers think that they are not protected, they don't have the requisite material to use as to protect themselves against the Ebola disease, so many of the health workers including physician's assistant, nurses, are staying home." GFX Currently Ebola has been fatal in 60 percent of cases, but it can kill up to 90 percent of those infected. Much of the fear surrounding the virus comes from the vicious symptoms. There's also currently no cure for or inoculation against the virus. Nearly 900 people have died in what is the worst outbreak since the first recorded signs of the virus in 1976. Questions are being asked about what the economic impact could be. Africa specialist Bjorn Dahlin VanWees says so far West Africa's mining industry has been unaffected - but other sectors could face a potential risk. SOUNDBITE: Economist Intelligence Unit Africa Analyst, Bjorn Dahlin VanWees, saying (English): "Also if it sort of spreads intensively in the capital cities so industry there is affected, with workers staying home and also if the agricultural sector is affected so farmers start fleeing farming areas." Lagos has recorded its second case. Saudi Arabia says there could be a case of the virus there. But despite the pace of spread in West Africa, experts say there's little chance of it infecting developed countries. Professor Peter Piot is the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. SOUNDBITE: Director Of The London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot, saying (English): "Ebola epidemics always break out against a background of poverty, very dysfunctional health services and that's how then that gives rise to an epidemic, but not here I don't believe that that will ever happen." Development banks have pledged $260 million in emergency loans to fight the disease. The U.S. says it's treating the virus for the first time. They're now sending at least 50 health workers to help in West Africa, where troops have been deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia to impose quarantine on some communities. Locals there are not the only ones hoping Ebola can be brought under control as soon as possible.