Let me start off today's issue with a warning...
We're not trying to sound alarmist. It does absolutely zero good if you walk away from today's essay with a "the sky is falling" mentality. We certainly don't think that, and neither should you.
I'm talking about pandemics.
Now, again, I want to be perfectly clear that we're not saying some sort of global pandemic is imminent. But if you've paid any attention to the news regarding the Ebola outbreaks in Africa, you know that the next potential outbreak of some kind is always around the corner.
Since first being discovered in 1976, this recent outbreak of Ebola has been the most deadly. According to the World Health Organization, as of Thursday, it has infected 2,473 people in West Africa and killed an astonishing 1,350. This deadly strain of Ebola has a 60 percent fatality rate.
To put that in perspective, the 1918 flu pandemic had a fatality rate between 10-20 percent... and it still killed over 50 million people.
As I said, Andy Obermueller, Chief Strategist of StreetAuthority's Game-Changing Stocks newsletter, has been spending a lot of time researching and writing about pandemics. It started back when Andy met a woman named Anna Mummert in Huntington, West Virginia -- where Andy used to live. Anna and her husband Carl are professors in the mathematics department at Marshall University.
Anna spends her time, as Andy puts it, using "highly sophisticated algorithms to model and project the spread of various infectious diseases. It's supercomputer stuff, but it's easy for a non-math person to grasp conceptually."
Andy dedicated the entire February issue of Game-Changing Stocks to the topic of pandemics, including an interview with Dr. Mummert. It was one of the most insightful, interesting pieces of research Andy's ever written -- the kind of thing you won't find anywhere else.
But here's what you need to know... As Dr Mummert said in her interview with Andy:
A worst case scenario disease cannot be too virulent. Virulent disease, such as ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers, are too devastating to the host, resulting in fewer contacts between susceptible and infectious individuals. Individuals with severe symptoms isolate themselves and the vast majority of others stay away from them.
Bottom line: viruses like Ebola -- in their current state -- are simply too deadly to cause a full-blown pandemic. The Ebola threat is a very serious concern, but it's transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids. So the potential for the rapid widespread infection of the Ebola virus is unlikely.
That's not to say a less-deadly virus could cause a pandemic at some point in the future, however. In fact, in a follow-up issue of Game-Changing Stocks, Andy talked more specifically about the Ebola Virus (well before it gained widespread news coverage) and warned about the "perfect storm" that could kick off the next global pandemic.
A global pandemic has happened, can happen and, experts say, inevitably will happen again.
The fact is, these viruses mutate constantly.
The fact is, the world has gotten smaller.
The fact is, people and goods move faster than ever before.
That's a perfect storm in the making.
So while Ebola may not be the source of the next global pandemic, Andy believes the next potential threat is always around the corner. And while that may sound "alarmist," keep in mind that the good folks at the Centers for Disease Control -- and America's pharmaceutical companies -- know this as well.
In fact, in that same follow-up issue, Andy detailed his favorite companies that are preparing to combat such viruses... and make investors a lot of money along with it. Take a look at the chart of some of his top picks and how they've performed since he's written about them:
While these stocks have already posted double-digit returns since Andy recommended them in March, there's plenty of room for them to run. After all, as populations grow and the world gets smaller, developing treatments against potential pandemic-causing viruses will be more important than ever.
And these aren't the only companies poised to benefit from increased demand for vaccines and treatments.
In his latest report The 11 Most Shocking Investment Predictions for 2015, Andy will show you the names and tickers of two companies that are creating potentially groundbreaking new vaccines and drugs to fight the spread of future outbreak.
The first is a small unknown company, with less than $200 million in market cap, but public health officials have it on speed dial -- and they've ordered massive quantities required for the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. It's already signed a $400 million contract to deliver 2 million doses of the smallpox antiviral Arestvyr to the U.S. government -- even before the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The second company he's found is a billion-dollar-plus company that has seen its top line grow to the $22 million range from just $330,000 in 2009. Its treatment for the H5N1 flu strain is in Phase II trials. It is also in the early testing stage for a dozen other compounds for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
Both have enormous upside in the unfortunate event that their products become immediately necessary. You'll hear all about them in The 11 Most Shocking Investment Predictions for 2015.