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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: Zika and the economy

With the Zika virus reaching across the globe, there are more than just health concerns.

The Wall Street Journal reported the economic effect of the Zika virus will be close to $3.5 million across Latin America.

While Rio de Janeiro may be thousands of miles away from Bloomington, if a cure isn’t found, the virus’ effects will be felt next door as well as a continent away.

Although the primary concern about the virus has been its detrimental effects on human health, the Editorial Board believes travelers should be aware the economic outcomes of the virus are just as troubling.

According to the United States Census, Brazil is our 14th-largest trade partner.

This means if Brazil’s economy continues to contract, the effects will be felt at home.

Industries creating goods and services that are sent to Brazil account for 346,000 domestic jobs, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

If Brazil’s economy continues to slow, people working with aircraft, machinery, mineral fuels and medical instruments will be hit the hardest.

These industries combine to be worth $15 billion for the U.S. Global crises such as the Zika virus have a worldwide effect.

In the past, specific 
instances such as earthquakes in San Fransisco and regional wars have been the cause of some worry in foreign markets.

However, today’s markets are so interconnected that no single economy can escape the troubles of another.

In 2008, the U.S. housing market collapsed and threw the country into a major recession that sent shock waves through financial markets around the world.

Health crises cause acute problems with both tourism and foreign direct 
investment.

According to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report, Hong Kong’s foreign direct investment, the lifeblood of budding corporations, dropped $2.7 million, or 62 percent, in a single quarter during the SARS outbreak.

If Brazil has a similar loss in both industries, it would be crippling for the country.

But this is not the problem of a single country.

Not only is the virus spreading across Latin America and Asia, it’s moving across the U.S.

Both Hawaii and New York have pledged a combined $16 million to preventing the spread of the virus, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Preventing the Zika virus from spreading is not only a health issue, but one of paramount fiscal importance.

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