Southern Nevada Health District talks being prepared for coronavirus


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As concern over the coronavirus spreading around the world lingers, local health officials say it’s never a bad idea to start taking precautions now.

8 News Now spoke with a medical investigator who explained how the health district is staying on top of the virus.

Las Vegas Medical Supply usually has N-95 face masks in stock, but lately, they’re sold out.

“In the beginning, it was because they were sending them to China to help out. Now, it is because they are concerned it will come here, and they want to protect themselves,” revealed Stephanie Rumpel with the supply company.

Rumpel said she takes calls all day from people looking for the masks, but as of now, she has no idea when they will get them.

“Right now, our manufacturer is telling us maybe April, if we are lucky.”

Although masks may help some, medical experts said it is not needed for healthy individuals. The best way to prepare is to take the same precautions as you would the flu.

“One of the things we wouldn’t want to have is we start to spread in this community, and we haven’t thought about what interventions we are going to take,” said Southern Nevada Health District medical investigator Vit Kraushaar.

He also said it’s good people are paying attention to the virus.

The health district is also preparing and created an “incident command system.”

“A way for us to coordinate our response within the Southern Nevada Health District to make sure we have adequate resources, and we know how to request those resources,” noted Kraushaar.

According to the World Health Organization, only 2 to 4% of people who get the virus die from it. Kraushaar said it’s not known how long the disease stays on surfaces or when a vaccine will be available.

“I think people are rapidly ramping up their efforts to their emergency preparedness efforts, thinking about what are those non pharmaceutical interventions we would implement in our community. So, there is a lot of actions being ramped up, which I think it exactly right,” said Kraushaar.

While the disease continues to spread, it’s important to think ahead.

“Prepare for the worst but hope it never happens.”

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