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Swine Flu News Concentrator May 12, 2011 to July 29, 2011

May 12, 2011 4:23 PM ET103 Comments
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Value, Long/Short Equity

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2008

I own and operate an analytical services/ research company. Prior to this I was the Executive Director of Survey Research at the JD Power company.


I will post Swine-Flu and related articles under this heading.  The top of the instablog will contain my current months key links  preceded with a one or two liner that explains the link.  A more complete summary of the link will be in the comments area.  At the bottom of the Instablog we have definition of terms, a summary of Swine Flu / vaccine investment plays, the 2009 H1N1 Flu Outbreak Map, Red Cross Tips For Dealing With The Flu, and Memory Alpha which contains links to previous news concentrators and authors articles on the subject.


Update History:
Added definition of Reassortment
Added definiton of R0 (R Naught)
Added Overview of H1N1 / Categories of Vaccine Investment Plays Added Memory Alpha
Added Link to Google's Swine Flu Infection Map
Added Red Cross Tips for Dealing With The Flu
Added definition of EUA and PREP act
Broke Swine Flu Concentrator into two parts for October
Broke Swine Flu Concentrator into three parts for October
Added Swine Flu Concentrator November Part 1
Bolded References to Older Swine Flu Concentrators in Memory Alpha
Expanded the list of stocks discussed in the tags
Alphabetized stocks in the tags
Updated the play by stock list
Added a table that contains the web site addresses for the companies discussed
Moved links over one month old to the new Memory Alpha Reference Library
Added definitions of Clinical Trials and Protocol.
Corrected Roche stock symbol in the web site table
Last Swine Flu News Concentrator Links:

Swine Flu News Concentrator March 22, 2011 to May 12, 2011

Swine Flu News Concentrator February 20, 2011 to March 22, 2011

Swine Flu News Concentrator January 28, 2011 to February 20, 2011

Swine Flu News Concentrator January 11, 2011 to January 28, 2011

Swine Flu News Concentrator December 18 (2010) to January 11, 2011

Swine Flu News Concentrator November 11 (2010) to December 18, 2010

Swine Flu News Concentrator September 23 to November 11 (2010)

Swine Flu News Concentrator June 14 to September 23 (2010)


Swine Flu News Concentrator April 8 to June 14

Swine Flu News Concentrator (March 13 - April 8)

Swine Flu News Concentrator (February 12 - March 13)

Swine Flu News Concentrator January 25 to February 12

Some Definitions:

What is Reassortment

When two different virus strains infect the same host, they often exchange genes, a process known as reassortment. 

A significant number of experts are concerned that as H5N1 (Avian Flu) spreads more widely and infects more people, it will come across more hosts who are also carrying human flu viruses. This increases the likelihood of a new strain emerging that has the severity of the bird flu virus and the infection rate of the swine flu virus, leading to a new global pandemic with much deadlier consequences than the one we are experiencing at the moment.

What is R naught (R 0)

How many people the average infected person infects is called the basic reproductive number, or R0 (pronounced "R naught"). 

Measles, which is probably mankind's most contagious infection, has an R0 of about 18. Polio's number is about 6; severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) about 5. For seasonal flu strains, the R0 is about 1.2, and for pandemic strains it is rarely higher than 2. For the novel H1N1 strain, it's about 1.6. What this low R0 means is that flu outbreaks are always teetering on the verge of having their myriad chains of transmission broken by people who get infected but don't pass the virus to anyone else.

Swine Flu - Novel H1N1 flu, popularly known as swine flu, is a respiratory infection caused by an influenza virus first recognized in spring 2009. The new virus, which is officially called swine influenza A (H1N1), contains genetic material from human, swine and avian flu viruses. (By Mayo Clinic staff)

Pandemic - The word "pandemic" comes from the Greek "pan-", "all" + "demos", "people or population" = "pandemos" = "all the people." A pandemic affects all (nearly all) of the people.

A World Health Organization phase 6 pandemic indicates that influenza due to the novel H1N1 swine flu is occurring in multiple countries around the world and that human infection is widespread. The classification does not reflect the severity of individual infections.

Cytokine Storm -
When our body detects foreign micro-organisms indicating an infection, our body might respond by over-protecting the site of infection. The body may race so many antibodies to the infection site that they collect in what is known as a cytokine storm. 

A cytokine storm, or "Hypercytokinemia" is a potentially fatal immune reaction consisting of a positive feedback loop between cytokines and immune cells. 

A positive feedback loop means that as something increases, that increase stimulates further growth. 

What makes younger people more susceptible to H1N1 is that their “vigorous immune systems pour out antibodies to attack the new virus. That can inflame lung cells until they leak fluid, which can overwhelm the lungs.

This vulnerability in the young is reminiscent of the Spanish flu of 1918. That strain of flu also struck mostly healthy young adults.

Pulmonary Embolism - Occurs when a blood clot forms in an arm or leg breaks free and enters the lungs where it is too large to pass through the small vessels of the lungs and forms a blockage. This stops blood from flowing into an area of the lung, and the part of the lung dies because it does not receive oxygen.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
An EUA may be issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow either the use of an unapproved medical product or an unapproved use of an approved medical product during certain types of emergencies with specified agents.

What is the PREP Act?
The PREP Act authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“Secretary”) to issue a declaration (“PREP Act declaration”) that provides immunity from tort liability (except for willfull misconduct) for claims of loss caused, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from administration or use of countermeasures to diseases, threats and conditions determined by the Secretary to constitute a present, or credible risk of a future public health emergency to entities and individuals involved in the development, manufacture, testing, distribution, administration, and use of such countermeasures.

The PREP Act also authorizes an emergency fund in the United States Treasury to provide compensation for injuries directly caused by administration or use of a countermeasure covered by the Secretary’s declaration. While no funds have been appropriated for this purpose, if funds are appropriated, compensation may then be available for medical benefits, lost wages and death benefits to individuals for specified injuries.

What are Clinical Trials:
Clinical trials, also known as clinical studies, are research studies in which scientists and doctors test new drugs and treatments to see if they will improve health. Many of today's treatments for cancer are based on the results of past clinical trials. Because of progress made through clinical trials, many people treated for cancer are now living longer.

Clinical trials are divided into four phases.
Phase 1 trials: These trials are the first time a new drug or treatment is given to humans. They are normally carried out in a small number of volunteers (typically 6-20 people) who may include healthy volunteers or patients with the disease for which the product is intended as a treatment in order to find out how safe the treatment is. They also look at how a new drug should be given (by mouth, injected into muscle or the bloodstream, etc.), how often and at what dose. Phase 1 trials can also involve patients for whom standard therapies have failed and for whom no other therapies are available.

Phase 2 trials: These trials involve larger numbers of people (typically 12 - 50). Phase 2 trials continue to look at safety of the therapy but also test how well the new drug or treatment works in patients with different disease types.

Phase 3 trials: These are large studies (100+ people) that look at how well a new drug or treatment works in comparison to current therapies to see which treatment is better. Those taking part are usually divided into two treatment groups: standard treatment versus new treatment.

Phase 4 trials: These trials are usually carried out after the drug or treatment has been approved by the FDA and is readily available for use in the general patient population. The purpose of Phase 4 trials is to continue to study the effects of the drug or treatment on different populations and to look for side effects associated with long-term use.
Back to Top

What is a Protocol:
Clinical trials use written guidelines called protocols. The protocol explains what the trial hopes to accomplish, how the trial will be carried out, and why each part of the trial is necessary. For example, the protocol includes:

    * The reason for doing the trial
    * How many people will be in the trial
    * Who is eligible to take part in the trial
    * What study drugs participants will need to take
    * What medical tests participants will have and how often
    * What information will be gathered

Every doctor or research center that takes part in the trial uses the same protocol. This makes sure that patients are treated identically no matter where they are receiving treatment, and that information from all the centers taking part can be combined and compared.

Why Slow Production for Traditionally Produced (chicken eggs) Swine Flu Vaccine:
One dose of swine flu vaccine for every two eggs, compared with two doses of
seasonal flu vaccine per egg

Sorry if the link does not work... it appears the Boston Globe newspaper appears to be playing games with link addresses... Just copy the link, and Google it.


Brief Overview of Categories of H1N1/ Vaccine Investment Plays:

I - Vaccines / Prevention
1) Production Method / Capacity plays (NVAX) (VICL) (NVS) (INO)
2) Nationalistic / Population Size Play (SVA - China) (NVAX - India)
3) Injection / Vaccine support services (syringes etc.) (BAX) (BDX)
4) Outsourced production plays
5) Bio -Defence (MDCGF - France) 
6) Anti-Mutation / Pan-Influenza Play (CVM) (NNVC) (INO)
7) Universal Flu Vaccine Play (INO)

II - Treatment After Infection Occurs:
1) Dealing with severe lung infections (Fludase® (DAS181)) (CBM) (AEMD)
2) ICU treatments (BCRX) (GSK) (ROG)
III - Population Avoidance:
1) masks/ disinfectants… Surgical masks are good enough (APT) (MMM) (CLX) (ECL) (OTC:PURE)

IV - Testing do you have it? (GPRO)
1) Test kits - (DGX)

V - Merger / Acquisitions / Licensing (VICL) (NVAX)
Sorry this is still a graphic instead of a table. I played with the table tool, but its a 
PITA to work with. 

Swine Flu Companies Discussed and Their Web Sites

Swine Flu Hits Stuffed Animal World:

2011 H1N1 US Flu Outbreak Map:
Here is a link that gives information by US states.  The Link is from DoubleGuns

Red Cross Tips For Dealing With The Flu:

* Stay in a room separate from common areas of the home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.

* Stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using medicine to reduce the fever.

* Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

* Consider wearing a facemask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with household members. (ed - surgical masks ok).

* Check with your healthcare provider about whether to take antiviral medication, or if fever persists, whether antibiotics are needed.

*Disinfect door knobs, switches, handles, toys and other surfaces that everyone touches.

* Use detergent and very hot water to do dishes and wash clothes. It's okay to wash everyone's dishes and clothes together. Wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.

* Designate only one adult as the caregiver. People at increased risk of severe illness from the flu should not be caregivers.

* Although not mentioned by the Red Cross, the caregiver should probably ware a surgical mask as well when entering the sick room.

* Deal with crisis situations calmly and confidently to give the best support to the person being cared for.

MayoClinic.com Provides Credible, Up-to-Date Information And Decision-Support Tools For Flu Season 

Click here to link to the Mayo tool:

Suggeted Protocol For Schools To Decide When Flu Should Trigger A Shutdown

After comparing more than two dozen possible scenarios for closing a school, the analysis suggested three optimal scenarios:

1. A single-day influenza-related absentee rate of 5 percent

2. Absenteeism of 4 percent or more on two consecutive days

3. Absenteeism of 3 percent or more on three consecutive days

Disclosure: NVAX, NNVC, SVA, VICL (sometimes trading, sometimes holding) 

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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