RSV cases in Southern Nevada doubled since last year, SNHD warns the community to take precautions

Breathing mask
Breathing mask(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 10:46 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Southern Nevada Heath District says RSV cases are rising in Clark County, one clinic says there’s a backorder of tests.

On Friday SNHD sent out a warning to the community about the impact of seasonal respiratory illnesses. The health district is reporting more than 1,800 cases of RSV for the month of November. That’s a 200% increase compared to this time last year.

Dr. Cassius Lockett with the health district said most of those cases are children ages 5 years old or younger.

Dr. Katherine Alconcel is the Medical Director for Jovive Health, an urgent care clinic in Henderson. She said with the sudden uptick in respiratory illnesses, RSV tests are hard to come by for her clinic.

“We do have the machine that’s capable of testing for RSV, we actually use it to test for COVID however there’s a back order on the testing strips for RSV so at this time we’re not able to test for it but hoping to in the future,” Dr. Alconcel said.

She said hospitals have a greater chance of having tests since they see the sickest patients.

“Depending on where you go different clinics or hospitals have capabilities. It’s usually done with a rapid test which usually takes about 5-10 minutes for results. You can do a send out but of course, that takes longer through the lab but most of the hospitals and big major hospital departments are able to test for RSV,” Dr. Alconcel said.

The test is similar to that of a COVID test.

“Just a little medium you put into like a little tube that has the swab from the patient and you put some developer drops in there and then it runs in the machine so it can test for COVID- we have an abundance of COVID tests but certainly now with the sudden uptick we do not have enough of the RSV tests around,” Dr. Alconcel added.

The health district recommends everyone take extra precautions at this time.

“One of the biggest things we’ve learned from the pandemic is that masking works. Good hand washing. So if you are an adult that has some lung issues I would consider masking up,” Dr. Alconcel said.