Illinois officials are reporting three new swine flu deaths and 186 new hospitalizations from the virus. Friday’s update brings the number of Illinois deaths since April to 67 and total hospitalizations to more than 2,100. Flu activity is slowing nationally, with medical visits declining for the fourth straight week. State officials say swine flu hospitalization and death rates for blacks and Hispanics are higher than the rates for whites. More chronic health problems, lower vaccination rates and less access to health care may contribute. The swine flu hospitalization rate for blacks and Hispanics is three times higher compared to whites, while the death rate is two times higher. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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