Thursday, January 24, 2013
Rich and Poor Connected for Good or Ill
[Interesting analysis of the current flu outbreak from The Huffington Post. Notice how even human disease sets establish our common link to one another across class and income lines! Lessons??? LJ]
Flu In Poor Communities Shows Inequality Of 2013 Outbreak
The killed more poor people than rich. The same affinity for inequity may be raising the 2013 flu's toll -- on the rich and poor alike.
"What you see with flu activity is the same as what we see with health outcomes in general. Unfortunately, communities of color and low-income communities tend to share a disproportionate effect," Nick Martin, a spokesman for the Boston Public Health Commission, told The Huffington Post.
But as experts warn, such a disparity may not only be an issue of . Elevated rates of the flu in poor communities may threaten the health of people who live in wealthier communities as well.
"We've found that getting lower-income neighborhoods covered with vaccines benefits higher-income neighborhoods," said Bruce Lee, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pittsburgh and lead researcher on a 2011 study of .
Based on computer simulations of 7 million "virtual people" in the Washington metropolitan area, Lee's team found the fewest infections at an epidemic's peak resulted when flu shots were allocated to the poorest counties. Delaying vaccinations in the poorest counties also increased infections among the wealthiest.
"This drives home the fact that we are all connected," Lee said.
To read the entire report click here.