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Pneumonia and Influenza Death Toll In El Paso Increases To 68

Recombinomics Commentary 17:10
May 12, 2011

The week 18 Pneumonia and Influenza deaths for El Paso, Texas spiked to 13, which raised the total for the past 5 weeks to 68.  Although the number of deaths dropped to 4 for week 17, which may have been linked to the holiday, the jump to 13 in week 18 is the highest for the year, excluding the record 24 deaths in week 15 and the near record 19 deaths in week 14.  The reporting of 13 deaths in week 18 breaks the prior week 18 record of 10 in 1996. 

Thus, in the past 5 weeks, record levels were reported for weeks 14, 15, and 18.  The P&I death rate for these five weeks was 12.05%, which is more than 1.5 times the national epidemic threshold for the period.

This increase in deaths in El Paso follows an increase in influenza like illness (ILI) in Mexico, which generally declines at this time of year.  These increases follow the WHO pandemic alert linked to the emergence of the Chihuahua sub-clade with D225N.

These increases also follow reports of fatal influenza cases associated with stroke in the United States (Pennsylvania) and South Korea, which are also likely linked to the spread of the Chihuahua sub-clade.

An explanation for the spike in P&I deaths in week 18 and the record levels reported over the past 5 weeks would be useful.

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