Message from Nevada Department of Health and Human Services | 2.11.20

Dear Nevada State Employees and Coworkers:

You have most likely heard about the coronavirus in the media in recent weeks, as there is an ongoing epidemic of a novel strain of the virus currently centered in China. The virus is gradually spreading worldwide, and a growing number of countries a reporting cases among travelers from China, and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported outside China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) believe the immediate risk to the public in Nevada, and nationwide, continues to be low – and Nevada does not have any confirmed cases.

While the immediate risk of this new virus to the public is believed to be low, everyone can do their part to respond to this serious emerging public health threat. It seems this novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is spreading via droplets and direct contact with contaminated surfaces in a manner similar to seasonal influenza. Symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection (fever, cough and shortness of breath) are also similar to severe influenza infections. We are still in the midst of the flu season, and as long as influenza viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue, even into February or later.

Taking everyday preventative actions will certainly help stop the spread of germs, like avoiding crowded areas and practicing individual hygiene including proper hand washing and not touching the face, nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands.

Our public health goal continues to be protecting the health of Nevada residents and visitors by preventing community spread of this novel virus. DPBH has created a webpage dedicated to information about 2019-nCoV which includes:

-Links to up-to-date case numbers, global cases dashboard, CDC’s situation summary

-Nevada monitoring and guidance efforts

-Travel resources

-Home care resources

-Tools for health care workers

Visit http://dpbh.nv.gov/coronavirus/

The health of all Nevadans is the top priority of the Department and, if you have any questions, we encourage you to visit the page above or contact the State Office of Public Health Investigations and Epidemiology.

Sincere regards,

Ihsan Azzam, PhD, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

Division of Public and Behavioral Health