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American Indians/Alaska Natives At Increased Risk Of Death Due To H1N1

 Deaths Related to 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Among American Indians/Alaska Natives – 12 States, 2009

In a survey of 12 states, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) were at increased risk of death due to H1N1 influenza. AI/AN people and their health-care providers should be well-informed about the importance of antiviral medications and 2009 H1N1 vaccine in reducing deaths from influenza. AI/AN are at increased risk of death due to 2009 H1N1 influenza. According to a recent investigation of influenza-related deaths occurring in 12 states between April 15 and November 13, 2009, AI/AN were 4 times more likely to die from 2009 H1N1 influenza when compared to all other racial and ethnic groups combined.  The investigation found that forty-two deaths (9.9 percent) occurred among AI/AN, although AI/AN make up approximately 3 percent of the population in these 12 states. The authors recommend: increasing awareness among AI/AN and their health-care providers about H1N1 influenza; early use of influenza antiviral medications for those at increased risk for H1N1 influenza complications; and promotion of 2009 H1N1 vaccine in AI/AN populations.


Deborah Busemeyer
New Mexico Department of Health, Public Information Officer
(505) 827-2619

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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