Economic impacts of Zika

The very serious health risks associated with Zika are being well discussed and this question is in no way meant to minimize the seriousness of those … but I would be also very interested to read some analyses of the potential economic impacts both of the virus itself and the impacts of the responses and reactions to it.

Brazil has been banking heavily on the Olympics (and of course Carnival as well). Fear of Zika is going to hit that hard.

Assume that a large portion of the reproductive age population in the region indeed delays pregnancy until the threat is minimized … which likely will be a few years … what does a relative lack of kids of a several year range do to schools and other institutions moving forward?

Microcephalic children usually have many many problems and are, frankly, very costly to care for. How able are these regional economies able to handle those costs?

Microcephaly may (may not, but may) be just the tip of an iceberg, a grossly obvious brain impact of the virus on developing fetuses. The is very good reason to suspect that other issues is normal head sized children may show as kids get older, from global developmental delays, to autistic spectrum disorders, to hearing loss, to learning disabilities (all common in other congenital infections with neurotropic viruses, most infamously congenital rubella). What impact would that have on the region and what secondary impacts would that have on the rest of the world?


When we take on the economic impact side of the Zika virus, we can clearly say that it has already hit the grounds of economic processes in Latin America. The Latin American economy is well depended on exporting and when the breakout of Zika started its trade, the global economy just stayed away from the dealings, notably the Chinese non participation in exporting as it was used to made huge impact on the economy.