Lucie Lecomte has sent me the link to some letters to the editor of The Star in Toronto: A small price to pay to stop Ebola. Here's one of them:
The most deadly Ebola outbreak in history has mutated repeatedly. More than 1,900 people have been killed in four countries and the World Health Organization expects 20,000 more people infected before the outbreak is controlled.
We considered what might be the economic impact if the Ebola virus arrived in Toronto. While it’s difficult to quantify the precise economic impact, the combination of infectious disease with economic models indicate that an economic growth impact for Toronto in the vicinity of between $500 million and $800 million every quarter the Ebola virus is present in Toronto.
Nationally, the impact would be expected between $700 million and $1.2 billion every quarter. The travel and tourism industry would bear the brunt of the impact losing between $480 million to $820 million nationally every quarter.
While Ebola cases would expect to be low, the economic impacts are potentially significant. Annualized, an outbreak could cost Toronto $3.2 billion and the country $4.8 billion in economic growth.
Paul Smetanin, CEO and President, Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, Toronto
Toronto is understandably nervous about such a prospect. The city took an economic beating from SARS.