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H1N1 Death of Chihuahua Social Activist Raises Concerns

Recombinomics Commentary 02:20
May 5, 2011

Sources close to his family Fong confirmed early yesterday that Luis K. Fong died of a pulmonary impairment caused by the H1N1 virus.

However, the death of activist Chihuahua has not been incorporated into the official report of the Ministry of Health in which only shows the death of a person in the municipality of Santa Barbara also due to the H1N1 influenza virus.

The above translation is one of many media reports on the H1N1 death of the political activist in the city of Chihuahua.  As noted, his death is not included the five confirmed deaths there.  The other death announced was the fifteenth confirmed cases in the state of Chihuahua, but the confirmed cases are likely to be a gross under-estimate, as suggested by media reports identifing fatalities not included in the official numbers.

Confirmed cases in Mexico are tightly controlled by lab tests done by the government, which creates delays and additional limits.  Most of the suspect samples test negative, as was reported for the index case (26M) who was a Juarez traffic officer and the partner of an H1N1 confirmed fatality, who also died with H1N1 symptoms.

The report of unconfirmed fatalities raises transparency concerns, as does the withholding of sequences with H1N1.  Other signs of undercounts come from the New Mexico border report on a clinic in southeastern Juarez near the cluster of cases at the eastern traffic station.  That clinic, CAAPS Aguilas, had reported 355 ILI cases in the week 14 report, representing 64.3% of patient visits.  In the week 15 report, the site had been removed, and totals for the border region had been revised downward, raising serious concerns about the reliability and transparency of the influenza reports.

An explanation for the removal of the CAAPS Aguilas data, as well as the release of withheld Chihuahua sequences with D225N, would be useful.

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