RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's health commissioner says 36 deaths in the state have been linked to the swine flu outbreak.
The commissioner, Dr. Karen Remley, said Friday that about 30 percent of the deaths occurred among black Virginians, who comprise about 20 percent of the population.
Remley says a study of 10 states, including Virginia, also found that 35 percent of the people hospitalized with the H1N1 virus were African-Americans.
Those states have a combined black population of about 16 percent. Remley says the reasons for the disparity are unknown.
Some health officials speculate that higher rates of such underlying conditions as diabetes and asthma in blacks may be a factor.