ecThe economic costs of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will escalate to “catastrophic” proportions if the virus spreads to other countries in the region, Francisco Ferreira, World Bank chief economist for Africa said. “If other countries in the vicinity in the subregion of West Africa fail to do what Nigeria and Senegal have done — which is to keep things under control — then the costs will become much much larger,” he said in a Sept. 19 interview in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The spread of the virus may cost the three countries where most infections have taken place as much as $809 million, the World Bank said on Sept. 17. Early findings of the lender’s research into the economic risks of the disease spreading to other countries show the damage could be more severe, he said. More