WASHINGTON -- Nevada's congressional delegation met for 20 minutes on Wednesday to discuss the health alert arising from the discovery of six cases of hepatitis C.
Lawmakers said they plan to amplify their call for Capitol Hill hearings, on a growing belief that faulty medical practices may not be limited to Nevada.
"This is no longer just a Southern Nevada problem," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Our concern is, it appears to me that to save a little bit on syringes and vials, it may be a statewide problem. It may be a nationwide problem."
The lawmakers planned to seek out health professionals to tape public service announcements "to ease the angst" in the state and to encourage Nevadans not to avoid getting colonoscopies, which are considered effective early warnings against cancer.
Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., said he was inquiring whether the Air Force might be able to supply doctors or facilities at Nellis Air Force Base to pick up the slack for the surgical centers that have been closed by the state.
"We want to make sure the federal government is responding appropriately, that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other agencies are doing everything they can," Porter said.
STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU