Experts say historically, most COVID-19 ICU patients are Hispanic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Southern Nevada reported 869 new positive COVID-19 Tuesday and five more deaths. Cases are up to more than 90,000 since the pandemic began.

As for hospitalizations, experts say historically, most patients in the COVID ICU are Hispanic.

“This community has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, acting chief health officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.

Dr. Rajany Dy, assistant professor of internal medicine for the UNLV School of Medicine, works at UMC’s ICU. She sees first-hand how the virus is affecting people.

“So, the last several days, we been receiving a lot more admissions from the emergency rooms,” she revealed, “and we are also seeing admissions from the floors go to the ICU because they are just becoming more sick.”

Dy says with the reopening, she expected cases to rise, but not to the extent they have now.

“Historically, most of our patients in the COVID ICU unit are predominately Hispanic,” she explained.

About 50% of Latinos in the ICU are critically ill. And while it’s mostly men, the number of women is increasing, too.

“I’ve seen patients, particularly Hispanic, they tend to ignore the symptoms,” Dy said. “It’s probably something not worrisome, and they come a week after with severe symptoms.”

The high number of cases is in part due to multi-generational families living together, social behavior, jobs in the service industry and previous health issues.

“Just looking at the population, of the Hispanic population, they have higher prevalence of obesity, so they are much more heavier, and they have higher prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure,” Dy noted.

Leguen said they are looking to develop new messages to ensure the community is aware of the increase of COVID-19 cases and that the pandemic is still here.

With the holidays approaching, it is highly recommended you limit gatherings to 10 or less and limit the time of the event. Socially distance, wear masks, eat outside and even assign one person with masks and gloves to serve the food so utensils are not shared.

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