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Patient tests 'presumptive positive' for COVID-19 in Nevada, state's first such case

Posted at 2:15 PM, Mar 05, 2020

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) said Thursday that a "presumptive positive" case of COVID-19, or coronavirus, had been recorded in Nevada. Should the CDC confirm the results, it would mark the first confirmed case of the virus in Nevada.

A Las Vegas laboratory has confirmed the presumptively positive case. Officials sent the sample to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the organization could confirm the results of the test within 24 to 48 hours.

According to SNHD, the victim is a man who is over 50 years old. He is currently in the hospital and has been quarantined. The health district says that the man does have an underlying health condition, and they are hoping for the best.

SNHD would not confirm an earlier report by The Nevada Independent that said the man presented with symptoms to a hospital in the VA Healthcare System.

The SNHD did confirm that the man had traveled to Texas and Washington by airplane during the two weeks before presenting symptoms. However, they could not confirm if the man had contact with anyone else who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or provide any information about how he may have contracted the disease.

The SNHD said they are currently working to identify anyone that the man has had contact with within the last two weeks of presenting symptoms, and say they are asking anyone who had contact with the patient to self-quarantine and notify them if they present symptoms.

SNHD says that it began testing for the novel coronavirus a few days ago and have only performed a handful of tests in Clark County.

The press conference was led by Dr. Fermin Leguen, who is the acting district health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. Disease Surveillance Supervisor Kimberly Hertin also spoke at the press conference.

While the COVID-19 outbreak is a serious public health threat, the immediate risk from the virus to the general public in Clark County and the United States remains low.

This story was originally published by Joyce Lupiani on KTNV In Las Vegas.