Natives in Manitoba hit by severe flu breakout
Natives in Manitoba are dealing with an unusually large number of flu and severe flu cases, health officials said.

As of Sunday night, 26 people in the province were in intensive care for flu-related reasons. More than half of the patients are Native and under the age of 35.

Some of the cases are likely to be diagnosed as H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. More than 200 people on the remote St. Theresa Point First Nation have been ill in the past few weeks. Two cases were confirmed as swine flu.

"The overcrowding that exists on reserves, it's really quite high. It's a breeding ground for the virus to spread," Glen Sanderson, a Native policy analyst, told CBC News. "It's an airborne virus — people cough and people are walking around in the house. When you've got as many as 11 people walking around the house, it really will spread to everybody."

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Severe flu cases surge in Manitoba aboriginal community (CBC 6/8)

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