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Nevada sees first young adult coronavirus death

Updated March 26, 2020 - 8:59 pm

The death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 10 in Clark County, health authorities said Thursday, noting that the new coronavirus has claimed two new types of victims: a younger adult with underlying health conditions and a man in his 60s with no underlying medical conditions.

Meanwhile, the number of reported cases across Nevada reached 535 late Thursday, according to the state’s website. Reports from health districts and counties earlier Thursday listed the number of cases at 428.

The overlap between the two data sources is not known, but it is presumed that the statewide figure includes most if not all of the new county cases.

New details about the latest deaths in Clark County released by the Southern Nevada Health District showed that one of the four latest victims was a man in his 30s with underlying medical conditions. The youngest victim to die from the disease previously in Nevada was a woman in her 50s.

A second victim was described as a man in his 60s with no reported underlying medical conditions. This was the first death in the county, where all of the state’s reported fatalities have occurred, of a person without known underlying medical conditions.

Although older adults with underlying health conditions are especially vulnerable to the new coronovirus, that “doesn’t mean that other people can’t get seriously ill” from it, said Brian Labus, an assistant professor of immunology and biostatistics at UNLV.

With hundreds of residents testing positive for COVID-19 — and more cases that have gone undetected because of the lack of widespread testing — “seeing 10 deaths is not surprising,” said Labus, a member of the governor’s medical advisory team on COVID-19.

A total of 350 people in Clark County have now tested positive for the new coronavirus, of which 21 percent have been hospitalized, according to the health district.

Three of those cases occurred among residents of Summerlin Sun City, according to an email alert sent to residents by the 55-and-older community association’s executive director. All three were hospitalized Wednesday night, it said.

“We’re seeing spread (of COVID-19) in the community,” Labus said, “and the only way to stop it is social distancing,” which refers to staying at least 6 feet away from other people to avoid transmission through droplets from a cough or sneeze.

The Washoe County Health District on Thursday reported 10 additional cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County, for a total of 67 local cases.

Health officials in Carson City reported two new COVID-19 cases: one involving a Carson City woman in her 60s who had reported close contact with a confirmed case in California, and a Carson City man in his 40s with a travel history.

The Carson City Health and Human Services agency, which covers the Quad County region of Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, has now reported a total of eight COVID-19 cases.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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