Health official: “People without underlying medical conditions get ill and die” from COVID-19

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(Nevada Current file photo)
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(Nevada Current file photo)

The Southern Nevada Health District will begin providing more information on its website about people who test positive for COVID-19, Dr. Michael Johnson, Director of the Community Health Division, said during a telephone briefing Friday.

The added information will focus on the underlying health conditions of patients as well as their current condition.  Health officials say elderly people and those with health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes suffer more severe complications from the disease.

“We’ve also seen people without underlying medical conditions get ill and die,” Johnson said. 

On Thursday, the district reported the death of a man in his 60s with no underlying medical conditions.

Since the first case was reported 22 days ago, COVID-19 has killed ten Nevadans and infected 535 of 6,966 tested as of Friday.

The SNHD is processing about 40 tests a day and has limited testing supplies on hand. 

Private labs are testing “people who aren’t ill enough,” said Kimberly Hertin, a disease surveillance specialist.

“People who have minor symptoms such as a cough and fever should stay home,” said Johnson. “Don’t go to the ER unless it’s essential.”

The health district says it’s received personal protective equipment and is distributing it based on need to hospitals, first responders and health care workers.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.