Officials still awaiting flu test results from center |

Officials still awaiting flu test results from center

Staff report

State health officials are still waiting to learn the results of influenza cultures taken at Carson City’s Evergreen Mountain View Care Center, where six people died on Dec. 9.

Nevada Division of Health officials confirmed that four residents of the center had streptococcus A.

“Preliminary results show two of the previously reported six decedents tested positive for group A streptococcus,” said Nevada State Health Officer Dr. Bradford Lee. “We are still awaiting results on the influenza cultures. There have also been two non-fatal cases of respiratory illness that were associated with group A streptococcus.”

Group A streptococcus is a common bacterium found in the throat and on the skin. Most infections are relatively mild illnesses such, as strep throat or impetigo. On rare occasions, the bacteria can cause other severe diseases, especially in people with chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes and in people on kidney dialysis.

It does not appear that there are ongoing cases of group A streptococcus. However, due to the seriousness of the situation, the Evergreen facility and the Nevada State Health Division are working closely together and in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate and identify risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing severe disease. This information will help prevention strategies and augment infection control measures at the facility.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of practicing good personal hygiene in order to prevent the spread of disease. This includes frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you’re ill,” said Lee.