ebola sierra leone
Women faint as volunteers remove the body of a woman who died of Ebola in Waterloo, some 30 kilometres southeast of Freetown, Sierra Leone AFP

The World Bank has warned that the Ebola outbreak could cost Africa's economy $32.6bn by the end of 2015 if the epidemic is not contained.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement that if the outbreak spreads significantly beyond the borders of the worst-hit countries in West Africa- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone- the economy would be hit by this amount.

"The enormous economic cost of the current outbreak to the affected countries and the world could have been avoided by prudent ongoing investment in health systems-strengthening," said Kim.

According to a WHO statement, the number of Ebola cases in the affected countries stood at more than 3,000, with over 1,400 deaths as on 27 August. An unprecedented number of health care workers have also been infected and died in the outbreak.

The agency also says that at any stage, the actual number of cases could 2-4 times that of the reported ones.

The World Heath Organization estimate is that the total number of EVD (Ebola Virus Decease) cases could rise to 20,000 over the course of the emergency.

Meanwhile, a senior official at WHO warned on 7 October that Europe will likely see more cases of deadly Ebola virus but the continent is well prepared to battle out the disease.

"Such imported cases and similar events as have happened in Spain will happen also in the future, most likely. It is quite unavoidable... such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around," said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO European director.