Southern Nevada Health District stepping up screening measures for coronavirus


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Empty streets, malls and restaurants in Beijing paint a desolate picture of the fear surrounding coronavirus.

The death toll is now larger than the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003. More than 1,000 people have died. 

The Southern Nevada Health District is monitoring a number of Clark County residents for coronavirus. The department would not say how many. 

“This is a respiratory disease that is a new disease, so there is a lot of unknown about the disease,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, acting chief health officer. 

The virus has infected thousands of people. It has spread to more than 20 countries.

“I fear they are too late. That everybody is dragging their feet in getting ready for this, and I think this is going to really explode,” said Laurie Garrett, a science journalist. 

The Southern Nevada Health District has requested test kits from the CDC in an effort to help with testing.

“It will be a great help because now we should be able to make a quick diagnosis of whether a person is actually carrying the virus or not based on the testing,” said Dr. Leguen. 

Dr. Leguen says a number of Clark County residents are being monitored for the virus and are currently undergoing a 14-day self-quarantine.

Meantime, President Donald Trump says he’s optimistic this will end soon.

“We’re in great shape though, we have 12 cases, 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now,” said President Trump. 

The health district is expected to receive the new kit from the CDC this week. 

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