Just as the Ebola virus is spreading, so too is the effort to fight it.
Reports from Canada and Russia Monday said those nations are working to develop an Ebola vaccine to prevent the deadly disease from spreading, with Russia saying it can offer medically equipped planes to the region to get the virus under control in West African nations where it has killed more than 4,000.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Canada is entering the first phase of testing on a new vaccine for Ebola and plans to conduct much of its experiments in Maryland.
Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the vaccine would be tested in healthy individuals starting Monday. NewLink Genetics Corp. (NLNK) holds the license for the vaccine, AP reported. NewLink shares were off 1.4% in recent action.
Meanwhile, the Russian news service Ria Novosti said scientists in that nation plan to start testing an Ebola vaccine on primates. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova was quoted as saying they plan to introduce the vaccines within six months.
Further, the news service tweeted that Russia President Vladimir Putin is ready to provide planes to the afflicted nations with special medical equipment to fight the virus. Russian officials have sent health-care workers to Guinea, where the virus is believed to have originated, to help with the effort to stamp out the disease.
The foreign effort comes as the U.S. is struggling to stop the spread of the disease here. It was reported over the weekend that a second person was diagnosed with Ebola -- the nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in a Dallas hospital last week from the disease.
The Wall Street Journal said health officials here believe the infection was an apparent "breach in protocol," and could lead to more reported cases in the U.S. The nurse who treated Duncan had been wearing protective gear. Since Duncan contracted the virus in Liberia, the nurse now becomes the first in the U.S. to catch the disease here.
Meanwhile, investors are scrambling to reap any rewards that might be had from companies working to combat the disease.
A penny stock, that of Newark, Del.-based iBio Inc. (IBIO) , jumped more than 77% at one point in Monday's session on word that it was part of a team to ramp up development of privately held Mapp Biopharmaceuticals' Ebola therapy ZMapp.
IBio officials did not return phone calls seeking comment, but the website Seeking Alpha said the company has developed a plant-based technology that would help produce ZMapp in mass quantities. One difficulty for many entities trying to develop Ebola-fighting drugs is the inability to find enough quantities for the drug.
Investors also flocked to haz mat suit-maker Lakeland Industries Inc. (LAKE) , driving up its shares 12% in recent action to $21.98. And face mask-maker Alpha Pro Tech (APT) jumped more than 16%.