The World Health Organization announced Monday that the current Ebola outbreak is "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times."
Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said at a conference in the Philippines on Monday that Ebola's economic costs could be lowered if people were trained to take precautions to avoid contracting the disease. Chan added that "fear of infection has spread around the world much faster than the virus."
"We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world," said Chan, noting that keeping the public informed was a "good defense strategy" against economic costs.
Last week, the WHO published estimates that more than 4,000 people have died of Ebola during the current outbreak.