Monday, February 22, 2016

Zika Virus to Cost Billions

Zika Virus to Cost Billions

The Zika outbreak, which has spread to more than two dozen countries and territories in the Americas, is likely to slow the region's economy, decreasing gross domestic product in 2016 by US$3.5 billion, or 0.06 percent, according to the World Bank.

“Our analysis underscores the importance of urgent action to halt the spread of the Zika virus and to protect the health and well-being of people in the affected countries,” Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, said Thursday.

The World Bank Group noted, however, that these initial projections are based on a swift, well-coordinated international response to the Zika virus — which was not guaranteed.

In an effort to curb the spread of Zika, the World Bank also announced it will be allocating US$150 million to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The declaration of Zika as an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization has boosted global cooperation in research cooperation.

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