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Ebola Makes West Africa A No-Go Zone For Washington Investment Officers

AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine
FILE - This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa means Washington state investment officers won’t be traveling to that region anytime soon.

Theresa Whitmarsh, who directs Washington’s Investment Board, says her staff hasn’t been to West Africa in quite some time, and at this point, she won’t authorize travel there because of Ebola. 

“We don’t intend to send staff to West Africa until we have a better feel for the kind of controls they have on the ground there,” she said.

Whitmarsh adds that Africa, in general, holds potential as an emerging investment market. Currently less than 1 percent of the state of Washington’s investments are in Africa.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.