How the Ebola outbreak affects Nigerian small business

Passengers, wearing protective face masks and hand gloves push troleys loaded with personal effects upon arrival at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos on August 11, 2014.

The most serious Ebola warning to date has been issued in East Africa. Nigeria confirmed at least 13 cases of the disease last week, and Kenya is now a “high-risk” country for the spread of the virus.

"Ebola can spread through physical contact," says Tomi Oladipo, Nigeria Correspondent at the BBC. "There’s a lot of caution now."

Oladipo says people are a lot more reluctant to shake hands. Many public places, like gyms, are providing hand sanitizer to try and help prevent the spread.

Many small food businesses have been affected as well.

"In Nigeria, we’ve got this kind of roast beef, which is sold in skewers and made out in the open. It’s popular and a delicacy around the country," says Olidapo. "A lot of the sellers we’ve spoken to say their sales have gone down. Some of them would have maybe 200 customers a day and now they’re getting about 50."

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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