Nevada health officials confirm Las Vegas' first case of novel coronavirus

LAS VEGAS -- Health officials in Las Vegas on Thursday confirmed southern Nevada's first case of novel coronavirus.

The patient, described as a man in his 50s, has been hospitalized and is under quarantine.

"This is, again, the first presumptive case that we have in Las Vegas," Dr. Fermin Leguen, the Southern Nevada Health District's acting health officer. "I would also like to say that it's still -- the results of coronavirus in Las Vegas and the country is considered low."

Health officials say the Clark County resident recently traveled to both Texas and Washington by airline before presenting any symptoms.

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However, they could not confirm if he had been in contact with anyone else who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The announcement of the coronavirus case in Las Vegas came as no surprise to Brian Labus, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas who says what happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in the tourism hub.

"People bring things here all the time and take things home as well," said Labus, a former senior epidemiologist at the Southern Nevada Health District.

He predicts that it won't be long before more infections are uncovered in the city. Especially among the gamblers playing with cards and dice.

"You don't know what's on a surface that someone touched before you did," Labus said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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