Nevada COVID-19 Cases Edge Up, Respiratory Ailments Striking Kids

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Nevada COVID-19 Cases Edge Up, Respiratory Ailments Striking Kids

The increase in COVID-19 cases somewhat stabilized after a worrisome jump reported last week in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, Nevada health officials revealed.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital
Sunrise Children’s Hospital
A sign for Sunrise Children’s Hospital, picture above. The Las Vegas hospital is seeing record numbers of pediatric patients. (Image: Sunrise)

In last week’s report, Clark County saw a 42% increase in COVID numbers. But the most recent report released on Wednesday said cases edged up only 5.6% in Clark County over the latest few days.

That represents 1,406 new cases, according to the latest numbers from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

The increase for all of Nevada reported this week is 11%, KLAS, a local TV station, reported citing state health data. That is 1,843 new cases.

When commenting on the ailment, Dr. Christopher Choi, a Las Vegas internist, told KTNV, another TV station, that BQ.1 and BQ 1.1 are among the new strains of COVID seen in Nevada. The symptoms are “a lot more aggressive,” he added.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Nevada has seen 11,600 deaths from COVID. Some 9,058 of these were in Clark County, according to this week’s data.

There is still some concern about COVID at public gatherings in Las Vegas.

For instance, Adele will start her Las Vegas residency today at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. As of earlier this week, Ticketmaster and StubHub said that proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test may be required for all attendees, KSNV, another local TV station, reported.

During the height of the pandemic, Las Vegas casinos were shuttered. Most performances were canceled or postponed.

As vaccines and boosters became available, the number of tourists and other visitors to Las Vegas increased. Volume still remains lower than before the pandemic.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reported recently that in September Las Vegas was within 4% of its 2019 visitor numbers.

Elsewhere, people traveling to the gambling mecca of Macau must present a negative COVID test conducted within the past 24 hours, Chinese officials said this week. Previously, Macau border officials could accept negative tests completed within 48 hours.

China reported more than 20,000 new COVID cases on Tuesday. At least 6,000 infections were detected in Guangdong Province, which borders Macau and Hong Kong.

Respiratory Illness

Beyond COVID, flu and other respiratory ailments are becoming a concern in Nevada.

In addition, some patients in Nevada need to be hospitalized.

“The hospitalization rates for influenza have increased from 30 patients last week to 40 patients this week. ICU admissions remained stable, increasing only one point week over week,” the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA) reported this week.

Kids at Risk

Flu and other respiratory ailments are particularly striking children in Nevada.

Pediatric hospital beds are now at 110% capacity in Nevada. The state’s pediatric ICU units are full, KLAS said.

The NHA said this week that pediatric capacity at the state’s hospitals is “strained.” That may lead doctors to place pediatric patients in empty beds at hospitals used for adult patients.

Beyond the flu and COVID, ailments impacting children in Nevada are rhinoviruses/enteroviruses, and RSV, also known as respiratory syncytial virus. RSV leads to cold-like symptoms, but more serious cases can result in breathing challenges.

Dr. Steven Merta, chief medical officer at Las Vegas’s Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, said the respiratory ailments are leading to record number of pediatric patients.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is experiencing record volumes in our pediatric patients and most of them are admitted are with a respiratory illness and some of them have different viruses at the same time,” Merta told KVVU, a local TV station.

“Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital is continuing to see a high volume of patients in both the pediatric ER and being admitted to our pediatric unit for RSV and other respiratory medical issues,” echoed Gretchen Papez, a Summerlin Hospital Medical Center spokesperson, in a statement this week to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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