CDC Notes Change in Ethnic Pattern of Swine Flu Illnesses


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    In an update on epidemiologic patterns in the pandemic H1N1 outbreak, Lyn Finelli, PhD, head of surveillance for the CDC's Influenza Division, told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that the high-risk groups haven't changed since the spring wave.

    However, the impact of the virus on racial groups has changed some since the first wave, she told the group, whose meeting was streamed over the Web. Hispanic people had a higher proportion of deaths in the spring, probably because they had connections to people traveling to and from Mexico, where the outbreak is thought to have started. While the number of deaths in Hispanic people has fallen, since September the rate has risen among African Americans, Finelli said. She said the CDC tracks trends through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

    Finelli said CDC data show only two deaths in the Native American population, though some members of the committee said some people who work with tribes have received anecdotal reports of higher death rates in Native Americans, and they voiced concern that state surveillance systems may be undercounting deaths and severe illnesses among the tribes.
    (hat tip flutrackers/shiloh)
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