Though no cases of a new strain of swine flu have been detected in Nevada, state health officials believe the threat of a new potentially fatal virus spreading in the desert needs to be watched.
In fact, Dr. Ihsan Azzam, the state's epidemiologist, sent out a six-page Swine Influenza Health Alert to health care providers Friday.
That warning reminds physicians that symptoms of swine flu include vomiting, diarrhea, myalgia, headache, chills, and fatigue.
Martha Framsted, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said state officials are receiving daily briefings on the situation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At this point, Framsted said, authorities have not restricted travel to or from Mexico. People are urged to follow common sense precautions.
"If you're ill before you go to Mexico, try not to go," she said. "And if you're ill when you get there, don't travel until you're well. And remember to wash your hands."
Brian Labus, head epidemiologist for the Southern Nevada Health District, said local health officials use regular reports from local physicians to monitor new outbreaks of sickness.
"So far, no swine flu," he said.
The illness, Labus and Framsted noted, can be spread through kissing.
PAUL HARASIM LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL