Nevada could have nine more cases of swine flu

Nevada health officials on Monday were awaiting test results on nine probable swine flu cases sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Five of the cases were from Clark County, one was from Washoe County, and one was from Carson City, said Martha Framsted, spokeswoman for the state Health Division.

Nevada has had one confirmed case -- a 2-year-old Reno girl with mild symptoms -- but more could be on the way.

The CDC says 99 percent of probable cases tested so far have been confirmed as swine flu, Framsted said.

Also Monday, state health officials released new guidelines for closing schools and day cares in response to suspected or confirmed cases of swine flu.

Under the guidelines, the facilities would not automatically close. Instead, health and education officials would meet to consider several factors before making a decision, including the severity and timing of the illness and extent of transmission.

The guidelines state that the CDC's recommendation to close schools for 14 days is under review and will probably be changed.

Worries about swine flu infection have prompted Nevadans to buy up protective masks, hand sanitizer and other medical supplies.

At Roman Catholic churches nationwide, officials have tweaked services to avoid spreading potential viruses. Last week, the Las Vegas diocese sent a letter to its priests, saying it would support any changes to the Mass.

Diocese spokeswoman Rachel Wilkinson didn't know which churches implemented changes, but she said most probably did.

"They probably are going to err on the side of caution," she said.

At St. Francis De Sales on Washington Avenue near Decatur Boulevard, worshippers at a Sunday afternoon Mass did not drink wine from a shared cup during communion.

The priest also cautioned against making physical contact at a point during services when it is customary for worshippers to shake hands as a sign of peace.

Contact reporter Brian Haynes at bhaynes@reviewjournal or 702-383-0281.