Sickness and Recovery

Writing in The International Affairs Review, Joniel Cha writes about the medical and economic effects of the 2014 Ebola epidemic on West Africa, resulting in 28,600 people being infected and 11,300 deaths. The toll, writes Cha, goes beyond cost of human lives. "During the outbreak, the international community responded too late and initially provided insufficient funding," says Cha. "Even with international assistance, the Ebola virus took a heavy toll on the work force, severely damaging the labor market and national productivity."

Cha recommends that there should be two goals of the nations affected in recovery: government encouraged and assisted trade, and increased monitoring systems. Of the lessons learned, Cha emphasizes the role of the government in epidemic containment and reduction of aversion behavior, monitoring trade and restoring investor confidence. "Emergency preparedness, public health education, virus-detection monitoring, and surveillance mechanisms and programs must be enhanced and established," writes Cha. "Otherwise, as the data can attest, the economic results of another viral epidemic will be devastating."