Influenza outbreak

New York Times  Nov 25  Comment 
France, the European Union's biggest agriculture producer, reported an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in chickens on Wednesday, its first since 2007.  Nov 25  Comment 
BASEL (dpa-AFX) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Fluad, the first seasonal influenza vaccine containing an adjuvant. Fluad, a trivalent vaccine produced from three influenza virus strains (two subtype A and one type B), is approved...
NPR  Nov 24  Comment 
If you've ever wondered if the flu shot can give you the flu, you're not alone. We fact check the most common flu myths for you and provide the lowdown on this year's vaccine.
New York Times  Nov 20  Comment 
When 7.5 million turkeys had to be killed because of avian flu, prices for the Thanksgiving birds were expected to soar. In fact, they are among the lowest in years.
New York Times  Nov 19  Comment 
When 7.5 million turkeys had to be killed because of avian flu, prices for the Thanksgiving birds were expected to soar. In fact, they are among the lowest in years.  Nov 18  Comment 
There is plenty of frozen turkey to be had despite fears following an outbreak of avian flu this year – but fresh birds could be harder to find It’ll take more than bird flu to spoil Thanksgiving. Large poultry producers were hit by the worst...
GenEng News  Nov 12  Comment 
For years, scientists have been on the hunt to develop vaccines that would protect against all or most strains of particularly virulent viruses such as influenza. Yet, imagine if it were possible to generate a vaccine that would be protective for...
Insurance Journal  Nov 8  Comment 
Most commercial chicken and turkey farms that were infected by the bird flu have been cleared to restock, agriculture officials said, but scientists still will keep a close eye on migrating birds and test thousands to see if the virus …
MedPage Today  Nov 3  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- Case Findings: A college freshman was transported to the local emergency room with nausea, vomiting, and an altered mental status. Her roommate reported that she had been suffering from what seemed to be influenza, but then...
The Hindu Business Line  Oct 31  Comment 
The country has sufficient stock of drugs, testing kits and masks to combat any outbreak of H1N1 or Swine flu, Health Minister JP Nadda, said ​in a statement ​ on Saturday.  


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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