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Business

Lakeland Industries shares soar on Ebola concerns

Stock in Lakeland Industries Inc., a Ronkonkoma-based maker of protective garments and gear, soared 52 percent Thursday amid intensifying concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus.

The company, which makes hazmat suits designed to protect health care workers from infectious diseases and agents like Ebola, which is transmitted in bodily fluids, hit a 52-week high to close at $17.72 per share. Several financial news sites' reports suggested the surge was tied to reports that Thomas Eric Duncan, the first U.S. patient diagnosed with Ebola, had died.

In the last five days of trading, Lakeland's stock has risen more than 138 percent.

An outside spokesman for Lakeland said no one at the company was available for comment at this time.

Last month, the company announced plans to expand distribution of its hazmat suits globally. "Lakeland stands ready to join the fight against the spread of Ebola," Christopher J. Ryan, president and CEO, said in a news release on the expansion.

The World Health Organization has confirmed Ebola cases have reached 8,000 worldwide, with nearly half as many deaths. Most of the toll has been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Health care workers demanding more protective gear in Liberia were threatening a strike Tuesday.

Six U.S. military planes landed in Monrovia, Liberia, yesterday with more Marines and equipment. New York's Kennedy Airport begins stricter screening of travelers from West Africa tomorrow.

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