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"But intuitively it's understandable, because we have tremendous inequities in most areas of health," said Ferrer, the agency's executive director.
Also, experts noted that the Chicago and Boston data represent limited information from only two cities and only the first two or three months of the pandemic. The unpredictable manner of swine flu outbreaks means some parts of the city were hit before others -- a sequence that may have little to do with race.
"I think it reflected more the neighborhoods the disease was first going through," said Jernigan, a CDC flu expert.
This fall, the government will be doing national surveys to better track swine flu trends. That should provide more reliable information about how the virus is affecting different groups of people, he said.
On the Net:
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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