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Influenza Like Illness Spike In Juarez Mexico

Recombinomics Commentary 23:15
April 24, 2011

Chihuahua CAAPS Águilas 552 355 64.3% 7 1.1%

The above data from the week 14 report from the New Mexico Health Department demonstrates a dramatic increase in influenza like illness (ILI) in Chihuahua CAAPS Aguilas in southeastern Juarez.  In week 13 there were 7 ILI cases representing 1.1% of doctor visits, which jumped to 355 cases representing 64.3% of doctor visits in week 14 (ending April 9, 2011).  This jump indicates the outbreak in Juarez is rapidly spreading and the death toll is likely to rise.  Today Juarez reported its seventh H1N1 fatality.  Previously, deaths and severe cases were linked to a novel sub-clade which had a high frequency of D225N.

This spike in ILI in Juarez coincided with a dramatic increase in pneumonia and influenza (P&I) deaths in El Paso.  Week 15 recorded a record 24 deaths, while 19 deaths were reported for week 14.  Like Juarez, El Paso has started a vaccination campaign at this late date raising concerns that the spike in cases is linked to the emergence of a novel sub-clade producing an increase in severe and fatal cases.

The release of week 15 data by New Mexico, as well as week 16 P&I data from El Paso will provide additional insight into the spikes described above.

Sequence data from severe and fatal cases in El Paso as well as sequences with D225N in Chihuahua would be useful.

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