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Sierra Leone Gets Set Back In Ebola Eradication

Sierra Leone has recorded two new cases of Ebola in Freetown in the past few days, the first in about three weeks, Reuters reported Monday. The current Ebola epidemic has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa according to Reuters, about a third of them in Sierra Leone. Liberia became Ebola-free in May, but its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea are still struggling to get to zero cases, the report said. Ebola-related stocks, such as Ibio Inc (NYSE: IBIO) and Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE) gained more than 3 percent on Monday.

The outbreak last autumn roiled U.S. equity markets, helping to heighten a period of volatility. Much of the travel sector and a number of biopharma stocks like Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ: TKMR), BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) and NewLink Genetics Corp (NASDAQ: NLNK) were affected last year. Tekmira shares are off nearly 12 percent in the past five days.

The company last Friday posted disappointing results concerning a Phase II study of its prospective Ebola treatment in Sierra Leone. Reuters reported Monday that health officials in Sierra Leone said the first Ebola case in Freetown since May 29 was a fisherman who caught the hemorrhagic fever from his girlfriend in the northern district of Port Loko. Shortly afterwards, a family member who lived in the same household also caught the virus. Six cases other Ebola recorded in Sierra Leone over the past week were in the northern provinces of Port Loko and Kambia, according to Reuters.

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