Influenza outbreak

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The Hindu Business Line  Jan 27  Comment 
After the outbreak of bird flu in November last year that devastated a major chunk of the duck population in Kerala, it is the turn of the turkey to fall victim to the avian influenza. Th...
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 27  Comment 
Three more deaths from swine flu have been reported in Telangana, taking the total number of casualties due to the H1N1 virus this month to 16 in the state, a senior official said here today.
New York Times  Jan 27  Comment 
A resident of British Columbia has tested positive for the H7N9 avian flu virus in the first documented case of the infection in a human in North America, the federal government said Monday.
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 26  Comment 
One more person has died of swine flu here, taking the toll in Telangana due to the virus to 22 so far (since December last year), a senior health official said today.“One death was reporte...
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 25  Comment 
Thirty five fresh swine flu cases have been reported in Telangana today even as no fresh death due to the infection was reported in the last 48 hours, a senior health official said here.The...
Motley Fool  Jan 24  Comment 
Have you ever wondered why the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is so erratic from one year to the next? Here's the answer.
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 24  Comment 
Days after a 53-year-old man died of H1N1 infection here, Tamil Nadu government today reviewed the situation and set up a round-the-clock call centre as it allayed fears saying there was no need t...
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 23  Comment 
A three-member Central team has been deputed to study the Swine Flu situation in Telangana after Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya met Health Minister J P Nadda here on Friday.Dattatreya,...
The Hindu Business Line  Jan 23  Comment 
How can you avoid catching swine flu? It may be as simple as staying at home and watching TV, scientists say. Simple measures such as staying inside and watching TV can help combat potent...




 
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Influenza, or the flu, is a common infectious disease, which can be deadly to individuals with compromised immune systems (the very young, the very old, and those with conditions such as AIDS or Cancer). However, occasionally particularly virulent strains of influenza break out that can be threatening on a much larger scale -- such as the flu epidemic of 1918 and, more recently, concerns that H5N1 "Bird Flu" or H1N1 "Swine Flu" could mutate into a highly-infectious and deadly virus. A number of pharmaceutical companies make treatments for the flu and benefit from the fear of a flu outbreak.


  • Roche Pharmaceuticals makes Tamiflu, an antiviral pill to treat the flu. In 2005, amid concerns that bird flu might pose a large threat during the winter flu season, many national governments began stocking up on Tamiflu. Chugai pharmaceuticals sells Tamiflu in Japan.
  • Novartis AG (NVS), through its acquisition of Chiron in 2006, supplies much of the traditional flu vaccine supply to the United States.
  • AstraZeneca (AZN), through recently acquired MedImmune, manufactures 'FluMist', a novel flu vaccine that is delivered via an intranasal spray rather than via an injection.

Companies with treatments for H1N1, or "Swine Flu"

In April 2009, a novel flu virus, known as "Swine Flu" because it was believed to have originated in pigs, started infecting humans. By April 28th, there were 1,300 confirmed cases of the flu, known by its scientific designation H1N1, in Mexico, and a handful in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

According to preliminary test done by the US Center for Disease Control, Roche Pharmaceuticals (RHHBY)'s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)'s Relenza are active against H1N1, although many older drugs are not. [1]

References

  1. Investors buy up shares of flu drug makers, New York Times, April 27th 2009.
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