Study shows Native Americans more likely to die from H1N1

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LOVE COUNTY, OK - The Centers for Disease Control has released findings of certain ethnic groups are at a higher risk of getting H1N1 virus. Austin Wright has more.

The study recently released by the CDC shows that Native Americans and Alaskans are four times more likely to die from an H1N1 infection than other ethnicities, but the reason why might surprise you.

According to nurse Jill Miller the recent report sent out by the CDC highlights Native Americans, as well as Alaskan residents, as four times more likely to die from an H1N1 infection.

"There was a twelve state study, and according to this study there was a higher incidents of complications or death of American Indians Alaskan native group."

The study included the state of Oklahoma due to its high population of Native Americans. Milller says several underlying factors prompted health officials to publish these findings.

"Higher poverty was noted in some studies, inability to access the medical care because of the costs has been noted, and in other instances the drive, they just can't get to the doctor's office."

Most of the patients involved in the study were suffering from other health conditions that lead to complications, but officials also say one of the biggest problems was an inability for most patients reach medical care due to a lack of transportation.

For people living in Texoma, Steve Longest with Sooner Care might be able to help.

"Sooner Ride is free transportation to and from your medical appointments that are Medicaid covered, and you call ahead three days ahead of time and schedule your trip," Longest says.

The program will look at your situation and income to determine whether you qualify, but Longest says very rarely is anyone turned away.

"Here in Love County I would say most of our applicants all qualify but of course in recent economic times we've had more applicants that apply for benefits."

Longer says those who are already on medicaid qualify for the Sooner Ride program.

If you'd like more information about the Sooner pass program and whether you or not you qualify check the link below the story.

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