Racial Minorities Face More Swine Flu Struggles

November 10, 2009
by Maggie Mertens
National Public Radio

A report issued in October by the Trust for America's Health, a non-profit that promotes health and disease prevention, said minority communities are among those at most risk of swine flu resurgence this fall.

The report suggests that the language barrier is a big public health hurdle for many minorities in the US. Only one in three emergency preparedness Web sites include content in a foreign language, the report notes.

Higher rates of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, in blacks and Latinos also lead to more flu complications in these communities. And minorities are less likely to get vaccinated against flu in the first place. The Trust for America's Health report says this could be due to the cost of seasonal flu vaccine, misunderstanding of the risks associated with flu and a historic mistrust toward the health care system.

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