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|Topic: Native Americans At High Risk For Flu Deaths|
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| Topic: Native Americans At High Risk For Flu Deaths
Posted: February 22 2011 at 6:49am
Native Americans At High Risk For Flu Deaths
February 21, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Native Americans are more likely to die from the flu, according to new research from the New Mexico Department of Health.
The H1N1 influenza pandemic hit people from all walks of life and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention warned that pregnant women, senior citizens and children were among those in high-risk groups. However, the flu was a quiet killer for many Native Americans.
“We found that American Indians had a four-fold greater risk of influenza death,” epidemiologist Michael Landen said.
Landen works for the New Mexico State Department of Health. He and other researchers teamed up with 12 other states.
“With additional work in New Mexico, Alaska and Arizona, we saw consistent information,” Landen said.
Native Americans across all age groups were dying at disproportionate rate from the flu, Landen said.
New Mexico sent its research to the CDC and it led to broad sweeping changes on who gets first dibs at flu shots.
“The evidence was strong enough to recommend that American Indians get priority with respect to vaccination for influenza and anti-viral treatment,” Landen said.
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