Influenza outbreak

Agriculture Online  Apr 14  Comment 
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Healthy Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first case of the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus in the state of Iowa. Following an onslaught of increased...
The Hindu Business Line  Apr 14  Comment 
The outbreak of bird flu in Telangana has sent shock waves across the poultry industry. The Animal Husbandry Department has zeroed in on 18 villages, in a radius of 10-km, around the infected poul...
New York Times  Apr 10  Comment 
So far, under a million birds have been culled, a small part of the 240 million raised a year. But farmers must destroy entire flocks to keep the virus from spreading.
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 31  Comment 
Swine flu claimed the lives of 20 more persons as the death toll in the country rose to 2,064 while the number of persons affected by the H1N1 virus breached the 34,000—mark.Data collated b...
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 29  Comment 
Two more persons succumbed to swine flu in Rajasthan, taking the disease-related death toll to 415 since January this year. One person each died in Jaipur and Bhilwara yesterday, an offic...
NPR  Mar 26  Comment 
A single genetic mutation might decide who ends up in bed with the sniffles and who heads to the hospital, because it shuts down immune system molecules called interferons.
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 23  Comment 
Thirteen fresh cases of swine flu has been reported in Telangana, where 75 people succumbed to the H1N1 virus since January.“From January 1 till March 22, 6,864 samples were tested, of whic...
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 17  Comment 
Former State housing minister and senior CPI(M) leader, Gautam Deb was on Tuesday diagnosed with swine flu and put on ventilator support at a private hospital. According to hospital s...
The Hindu Business Line  Mar 15  Comment 
36 more deaths drove the swine flu toll past the 1700—mark while the total number of people suffering from the contagious disease reached close to 30,000 in the country this season.Data col...


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]


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