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Visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness continues to drop, but is still higher that expected for this time of year. This week 3.8 percent of visits to providers were for influenza like illness compared to 5.8 percent last week.
The Department tracks influenza-like illness, which is defined as fever and either cough and/or sore throat, at 26 clinics throughout the state.
Influenza-like illness is the best indicator of flu activity in the state. H1N1 influenza is still the predominant strain of flu in New Mexico at this time.
All positive flu tests are presumed to be novel H1N1 influenza. The severity of illness due to novel H1N1 influenza has not changed nationally or in New Mexico from the spring.
The Department of Health is conducting an analysis of all H1N1 deaths by race and ethnicity. According to the analysis, American Indian and Alaska Natives are over represented in the deaths. This group represents approximately 10 percent of the populations, but accounts for 20 percent of the deaths. The Department of Health will target this group with vaccination efforts through school-based immunization clinics as more vaccine becomes available.
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