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Indigenous populations may be more susceptible from Swine Flu/H1N1

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SciAm is reporting that indigenous populations who live in relative isolation may be at more risk from Swine Flu/H1N1 infection than your average person.

"Swine flu has been reported for the first time in Amazonian Indians, raising fears that the virus will cause more contagion and potential deaths in tribal groups around the world.

Seven members of the Matsigenka tribe in the Peruvian Amazon have tested positive for H1N1, the first example of the virus in Amazonian peoples, according to the human rights group Survival International.

Indigenous communities have little to no immunity to outside pathogens, which is why many Native Americans succumbed to disease when Europeans first arrived on the continent.

Indeed, swine flu deaths are already stacking up in tribes around the world. Last month, H1N1 took its first casualty in Australia, a 26-year-old Aboriginal man in Kiwirrkurra, one of the country’s most remote Outback communities, the BBC reported.

Aborigines are being hospitalized at five times the rate of the general population."



 
 

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