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Indigenous more vulnerable to swine flu

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  • Indigenous more vulnerable to swine flu

    Another swine flu outbreak would result in avoidable deaths because authorities have failed to focus on the specific needs of Aboriginal people, a researcher is warning.

    Indigenous people had a five times higher risk of death than non-indigenous Australians during the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

    "Australia's current plans are inadequate," says Professor Adrian Miller, from Southern Cross University's Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples.

    "To our dismay the National Pandemic Influenza Plan, released in 2010, did not target indigenous people as a special risk group."

    Prof Miller told AAP that Aboriginal and Torres Strait populations suffered during the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

    "Aboriginal people's current health status is very poor given the amount of chronic disease in communities and families," Professor Miller said.