/Southern Nevada Health District announces one patient under investigation for novel coronavirus

Southern Nevada Health District announces one patient under investigation for novel coronavirus

No confirmed cases of the virus reported in Clark County

January 29, 2020

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District announced today that it received a report of a potential case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a Clark County resident. The patient is currently in isolation at a local hospital. The patient will be monitored and under medical supervision while testing is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Clark County.

“The Health District has been monitoring this situation and working closely with our health care partners to ensure they were prepared for potential patients,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “Our hospitals are very experienced in isolating and taking care of ill patients, and we will continue to coordinate the testing process and communications with our partners at the state and the CDC.”

While the CDC considers this outbreak to be a serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate risk from the coronavirus to the public in the United States is believed to be low at this time. People who have not traveled to an area where the virus is circulating or have had close contact with a patient who has tested positive for the virus are at low risk for infection.

Coronaviruses are part of a family of viruses that are common in different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. In rare instances, the animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread from person-to-person. In the past, this has happened with the MERS and SARS. In these outbreaks, transmission was thought to be by respiratory droplets that were spread when an infected person coughed or sneezed. This current outbreak is still evolving, and health officials continue to learn more about how the virus is transmitted.

It is important to note there are four common types of coronaviruses that are part of routine testing in health care facilities. These four strains cause respiratory infections, including colds. Currently, only the CDC has the capability to test for the novel coronavirus. Patients who receive a diagnosis of coronavirus in local health care facilities have tested positive for a common strain of the virus and not the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

People who traveled to Wuhan City, China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after they have returned should contact their health care provider. Potential patients are advised to contact their medical provider or emergency department before they arrive so the medical facility can take the appropriate precautions.

The Health District is encouraging the public to follow the current CDC recommendations, which include:

  • Practicing everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Up to date information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is available on the Health District website at http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/coronavirus.


The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.