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IMF: Ebola hurting West African economies

Washington - The worst ever outbreak of the Ebola disease is likely to lead to “sharply” lower growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and raise financing needs in all three West African countries, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

At least 1,500 people have died of the deadly hemorrhagic virus since it was detected in the remote jungles of southeast Guinea in March and spread quickly to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) obtained by Reuters August 1, 2014. Credit: Reuters

Five people have also died in Nigeria.

“The Ebola outbreak is having an acute macroeconomic and social impact on three already fragile countries in West Africa,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.

“We are actively working with all three countries to prepare a preliminary economic assessment of the impact of the Ebola crisis, and additional financing support that may be required.” - Reuters

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