As the death toll in the Ebola outbreak reaches 1500, the World Health Organization issued a bleak outlook for the spread of the deadly virus.
WHO: Ebola outbreak continues to accelerate in West Africa and has killed 1,552 people so far. http://t.co/SBHGWt4qC8— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 28, 2014
Even as the U.N. health agency presented a plan to limit the outbreak, it posted a grim prediction for the ongoing surge in Ebola cases over the course of the next nine months alone.
This roadmap assumes that in many areas of intense transmission the actual number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported. It acknowledges that the aggregate case load of Ebola Virus Disease could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency," the WHO said.
The agency plans to unroll a large initiative in late September, but continued to call on the international community to help with the response.
With health officials tinkering with experimental serums, dispatching germ-killing robots, and continuing awareness campaigns, the virus is doing more than bodily harm. According to the African Development Bank, Ebola is also an increasingly destructive force on the economies of West Africa. Reuters reported:
As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the epidemic could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s."
African Development Bank head Donald Kaberuka added that in Sierra Leone, economists have forecasted a four percent drop in the Gross Domestic Product because of the outbreak.
Earlier this month, we noted that the disruption of food supply routes because of the outbreak is already expected to leave at least one million people hungry.