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Ebola - will this virus put you out of business?

Posted By IRMSAInsight, 20 October 2014

An uncontrolled outbreak of the Ebola virus is currently underway in several countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), with limited cases reported in Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Not only is this the largest Ebola outbreak ever reported, both in terms of case numbers and geographical spread, but it is also the first time that the disease has affected large cities in the affected nations. In recent weeks the transmission of Ebola outside of Africa was reported; in the United States and Spain respectively.

As a risk manager, you should ensure that a epidemic disaster risk (specifically Ebola) be raised in priority for executive response and business continuity planning. A risk assessment should be done by the enterprise function or at least be led by the functional experts to assess the current risk to the organisation, its subsidiaries and operational and commercial value chains, including travel to affected countries and via travel hubs.

The most authoritative model, at the moment, suggests a potential economic drain of as much as $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if “the epidemic spreads into neighboring countries” beyond Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to a recent study by the World Bank.

What are you doing to ensure that your organisation is on top of this?

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