Reports have emerged that it could also affect one of the region's major exports: cocoa. And a break in supply of cocoa will affect one of the most popular and beloved food commodities around the world, chocolate.
The ongoing outbreak could have a dramatic effect on the production of chocolate which is, consequently putting cocoa-farming jobs at risk, according to Politico.
The prices – which have already been increasing steadily since May 2013 – are expected to soar even more in the coming months. In September, cocoa prices peaked $3,400 per ton, the highest point in 42 months.
More than 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown by 2 million farmers in West Africa. Of them, only three countries – Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast (also known as Cote d’Ivoire) – produce almost 60 percent.
Ivory Coast, which is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, responsible for 40 percent of global supply, closed its borders with Ebola-hit neighboring countries Guinea and Liberia earlier this year, shutting out a significant workforce needed to pick the cocoa beans.
Although not one case of the contagious disease has been reported in Ivory Coast yet, residents are fearful that it may quickly cross borders.
The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak has risen to 4,447, with the large majority of victims in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
While the rate of new infections in some areas has slowed down, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward also said there could be increase to 10,000 new cases a week within two months if preventive measures are not stepped up.