Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHO Raises Pandemic Threat Level; Flu Stocks Drop

From USAToday:

Flu alert level raised; pandemic 'imminent'
he World Health Organization has just raised the flu threat level from phase 4 to phase 5, indicating a pandemic is "imminent."

Here's how the WHO explains phase 5:

"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 5 is the second-highest alert level. Phase 6 indicates a bona fide pandemic....

From our Monday post "No need to worry anyone, but…. (WHO May Raise Pandemic Threat Level)":

...Alphaville relays the WHO graphic and a comment:


...Now, we suspect that equity markets have not quite grasped the seriousness of this situation. For example the World Bank estimated in 2008 that a flu pandemic - ie full-on Level 6 - could cost $3,000bn and result in a near 5 per cent drop in global GDP....MORE

From TickerSpy:

Swine Flu and Bird Flu Stocks (*RXFLU)

Today: -6.1%
1-month: +26.1%
All-time: -34.3%
Today vs S&P 500 : -7.8%
1-month vs S&P 500: +19.5%
All-time vs S&P 500: +6.2%