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David White is a software/firmware/marketing professional and a long time investor. He has worked in the networking field, the semiconductor equipment field, the mainframe computer field, and the pharmaceutical/scientific instrumentation field. He has bachelor's degrees in bioresource sciences... More
  • Where Are We On The Swine Flu Pandemic? 0 comments
    Jun 5, 2009 5:43 AM | about stocks: HEB

    The W.H.O. data on the Swine Flu virus, Influenza A(H1N1). as of June 3 indicate 19,273 reported cases worldwide. Plus don’t forget to consider that a several fold multiple of these cases have likely gone unreported. Of the 19,273 reported cases, only 117 resulted in deaths. Still there are a number of countries that are having severe problems with it such as the U.S. (10053 cases), Mexico (5029 cases), and Canada (1530 cases). Perhaps of greater concern are the countries in the southern hemisphere where it is just starting to spread. They are in late fall, early winter (the traditional flu season). They have the potential to have severe problems before most people could be immunized. Some countries on this list are: Australia (501), Argentina (131), and Chile(313). They are perhaps the likeliest areas for the H1N1 to spread quickly. The W.H.O. is at alert stage 5. The pandemic stage is 6. The W.H.O. definitions are as follows: 

    Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
     
    Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.
     
    It seems to me that we are very near stage 6.
     
     
    However, this is not the most worrisome thing to the W.H.O. They have been tracking the Avian Flu (H5N1) since 1996 (more seriously since 2003). There have been a number of cases of this in Egypt, India, Vietnam, etc. this year (2009). As far as I understand, they still don't think there is human to human infection. However, they are very worried. The statistics on Avain Flu are considerably worse than for the H1N1 (Swine Flu). There have been 433 reported cases of Avian Flu. Of these cases 262 of them resulted in death. This is considerably worse than the roughly 1 in 200 ratio of the Swine Flu so far. 
     
    Flu strains are very prone to mutate. It may only be a matter of time before the Avian Flu mutates to allow for human to human infection. If this happens, it sounds like people will be very glad to have the adjuvant, ampligen (from HEB), to take along with the vaccine. The acclaim it has gotten from both the Japanese and now the Italians is hard to ignore. The FDA may be evaluating ampligen for CFS efficacy, but they will likely think twice about giving it a bad name. It may be a critical drug for flu in the very near future. Ampligen’s promise for use against flu should give it a huge edge in its bid to get FDA approval for CFS. Let's not forget that there is the possibility that the Swine Flu may mutate into a more deadly form.
    Stocks: HEB
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