Back when markets still responded to exogenous “risks” by occasionally “selling off”, the S&P nearly suffered a correction in late 2014 when a major Ebola epidemic broke out in west Africa, with isolated incidents in Europe and the US suggesting it may have jumped continents, sending airline stocks crashing and Ebola vaccine makers soaring. Luckily, fears blew over quickly, the dip was bought – especially after James Bullard infamously hinted that QE4 could be invoked to halt the market drop – and the S&P proceeded to reach new all time highs on short notice.
Perhaps the time to Buy The Ebola Dip is back, because according to Reuters, at least one person has tested positive for the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The case was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever in Bas-Uele province in the northeast of the country on or after April 22, the statement said, adding that two of the sufferers had died.
Separately, SkyNews reports that the World Health Organization declared an Ebola epidemic in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of three deaths linked to the virus, and it is taking the situation “very seriously”. Referring to the outbreak noted above, the WHO explained that one of those killed had tested positive for Ebola after coming down with a haemorrhagic fever last month in Bas-Uele, a province which borders the Central African Republic.
Spokesman Eric Kabambi said: “The case is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky.” The DRC suffered a three-month outbreak of Ebola in 2014. Although it was quickly contained, 49 people were killed. Ebola occasionally jumps from animals including bats and monkeys to humans – and without preventative measures, the virus can spread quickly between people.
The virus is fatal in up to 90% of cases, and the WHO recently developed an experimental vaccine for use in emergencies. In a statement, the DRC’s health ministry said: “Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of international significance.”
Ebola caused alarm around the world in 2013 when the world’s worst outbreak began in West Africa – killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
For now stocks are not even bother to consider dipping on the news.