Washoe County Health District

Nurse holds COVID-19 Sample Kit
Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

If you’re starting to feel sick, what do you do? Sore throat, exhaustion, trouble breathing... No doubt at that point you’d have COVID-19 on your mind.

Man in protective gear shows medical equipment
Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

Some people who have flu-like symptoms may not be sure if they should get tested for COVID-19. The Washoe County Health District has a set of criteria for who should be tested. The criteria the district sets is based on recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several tents are being dismantled.
Stephanie Serrano / KUNR Public Radio

137 tents that were turned into homes by people living on the streets of Reno were removed by law enforcement on Wednesday, March 4.

Editor's note: this story contains adult language. 

Coronavirus In Nevada: Live Blog

Mar 5, 2020
An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus In Nevada Updates: Wednesday, March 18

10:17 p.m. PDT | March 18, 2020
By Michelle Billman

State Total Of COVID-19 Cases Hits 85

A microscopic picture of COVID-19
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

An official from the Washoe County Health District said the county doesn’t have adequate staffing to respond to a possible outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Cannabis plants under green light.
Vera Samburova/DRI

The same chemicals that give cannabis its distinct smell may be contributing to air pollution and affecting human health. Recent tests of four cannabis grow facilities in Nevada and California found that the plants naturally release compounds that, when they accumulate in the air, create smog.

People sitting around computer.
Brooke Cagle at Unsplash

Sexually transmitted diseases nationwide have risen to a record high for the fifth consecutive year, and for those with STDs, dating and disclosure of their health status can pose additional challenges. KUNR’s Anh Gray has been reporting on this issue. Today she explores how technology can help with overcoming some of the stigmas.

An infographic about STDs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The common use of dating apps has been attributed to more casual sexual encounters. Health officials say this type of hook-up culture is one factor in the spike of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Right now, the combined number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are at an all-time high nationally. KUNR’s Anh Gray talks with Jennifer Howell, who’s with the sexual health program at the Washoe County Health District, to learn more.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that for the fifth consecutive year, cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States. Nevada tops the nation for the rate of primary and secondary syphilis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the rise of STDs nationwide broke a new record for the fifth consecutive year. KUNR’s Anh Gray reports Nevada continues to top the list for the highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis.

Rubén Bagüés via Unsplash

Public health officials in Nevada are urging people to stop using e-cigarettes as the country grapples with an epidemic of vaping-related severe lung illness. KUNR’s Anh Gray reports.

The current measles outbreak across several states is highlighting the need for rapid response from local public health agencies. In Nevada, financial investment in public health ranks 50th in the nation. KUNR’s Anh Gray explores what that low investment means for Washoe County.

The Nevada County Health Rankings Report was recently released. Washoe County came in sixth place in the state for overall health, a jump from the previous year. KUNR’s Anh Gray reports that affordable housing, access to mental health care and substance abuse are still big issues.

Disaster planning often focuses on treating adults and overlooks the special needs of children. KUNR’s Anh Gray reports as more communities nationwide experience gun violence, emergency workers are learning how to care for young victims of mass shootings.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Washoe County Health District is confirming the first case of the measles in the region since 1999. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.

Health Officials say that the infected person is a University of Nevada, Reno student, and that he does not pose an ongoing risk. Randall Todd is an epidemiologist with the health district.

Alexa Ard

This flu season has been one of the most severe in recent years. In the last two weeks, though, the flu epidemic has eased nationally. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray checks in with a Washoe County epidemiologist to see how the region is faring.

Kerry Chalkley is an epidemiologist with the Washoe County Health District. She’s been tracking the flu epidemic in the region throughout this season.

REMSA

In a recent two-week period, there were more than one thousand lab-confirmed cases of influenza in Washoe County. Due to the outbreak, the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority, or REMSA, is experiencing record-breaking calls for service. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports, as a result, paramedics will be taking precautionary measures.

Anh Gray

In a state of emergency, first responders and doctors are the ones on the scene to provide help. Earlier this week, the Reno-Sparks Tribal Health Center held a drill to train providers for a potential crisis. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has the details.

In this particular drill, the Tribal Health Center simulated a flu pandemic. Stacey Montooth with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony says this training helps providers prepare for variety of emergencies.

Nevada Department Of Agriculture

Five bats in Washoe County have tested positive for rabies over the last 60 days. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports one case led to a series of unfortunate events.

It started with a domestic cat becoming exposed to one of those rabid bats and then had to be put down. That cat lived in a home with three other dogs. Those dogs received booster shots as a precaution since they weren’t up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

Jim Shaffer is with Washoe County Health District Vector Borne Disease. He says things took a bad turn when the dogs went for medical care.

 

Washoe County has seen an alarming emergence of congenital syphilis. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Congenital syphilis is a bacterial STD passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.

Angela Penny is a public health nurse with the Washoe County Health District and says there has been four cases of congenital syphilis since the end of 2014. Infections while treatable, can also be life-threatening.

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a list of the most drug-resistant illnesses in the country. The bacterial STD, gonorrhea, is on that list. As Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports gonorrhea infections are rising in Washoe County. 

Angela Penny is with the Washoe County Health District. She says in the first six months of this year, gonorrhea infections increased by 16.4 percent compared to the same time last year. 

 

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