Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu

Scientists Fear People Spread New Swine Flu

Wall Street Jounal — Scientists are baffled and deeply worried by the latest outbreak of swine flu for two reasons: It appears to combine bird, swine and human viruses in a way that hasn't been seen before, and it is spreading from person to person.
Although swine flu has been known to sporadically infect people, it has usually occurred in rare cases in which the virus jumps from swine to humans who are directly exposed to the animals, such as pig farmers. The virus that has surfaced in Mexico -- and apparently California and Texas -- is known as A/H1N1, a strain that hasn't been previously detected in pigs or humans.
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Mexico flu outbreak could add to economic pain

Guardian UK — Significant worsening of an outbreak of a fatal new flu strain in Mexico could damage the retail and tourism sectors in an economy already stinted by the global economic crisis.
Mexican authorities closed schools on Friday and urged people to take extra precautions to avoid spreading illness, and the World Health Organization said it was monitoring the situation. "This could become a serious problem for the economy," said Gabriel Casillas, an economist at UBS, who noted a large outbreak could lead to a further slowdown in consumer spending if shoppers stay home out of fear of the illness.
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Venture capital firm set to reap rewards on swine flu

Reuters UK — The swine flu outbreak is likely to benefit one of the most prolific and successful venture capital firms in the United States: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Thomson Reuters Private Equity Week reported on Friday.
Shares of the two public companies in the firm's portfolio of eight Pandemic and Bio Defense companies -- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX.O) and Novavax (NVAX.O) -- jumped Friday on news that the swine flu killed a reported 60 people in Mexico and has infected people in the United States
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