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WASHINGTON – In September, the top health official in the nation told tribal health professionals that it appeared Native Americans were not suffering from the effects of H1N1 flu at as high a rate as had been previously feared. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report indicating that American Indians and Alaska Natives have made up a disproportionate number of deaths from the virus.
The report noted that the deaths made up 9.9 percent of all cases, although AI/AN represented only about 3 percent of the general population in the states studied. The states were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Also, any idea why Native Americans would be more "at risk" to the virus?