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Nevada Front Page

School of Medicine in the News

New COVID-19 mutation found in Nevada

• FOX5 Las Vegas

As the eyes of the world are monitoring a new and more infectious mutation of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, scientists in Nevada are still trying to analyze a mutation found in Northern Nevada. The mutation is only one of several documented throughout the United States. Scientists at UNR Med and the Nevada Genomics Center are studying the DNA sequence of the virus, mutations and how changes affect patients and rates of infections.

Competition fierce for spots in UNR Med classes

• This is Reno

Nationwide, applications are up 18% overall, reports The Association of American Medical Colleges, and some admissions officers say American students may be inspired by Dr. Anthony Fauci and others battling the COVID-19 pandemic. But Tamara Martinez-Anderson, the director of admissions at UNR Med, says the sharp rise in applications began long before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.

Nevada health officials advise waiting 4 to 5 days after exposure to take a COVID-19 test

• FOX5 Las Vegas

The director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratories said that advising employees to wait four to five days to take a COVID-19 test after being exposed to someone who tested positive is "superb" advice. Dr. Mark Pandori said during a meeting of the state's COVID-19 Task Force on Thursday that there is a period after exposure to the virus, during which the virus is more difficult to detect on standard PCR tests used by publicly funded testing sites.

Nevada officials want to know: How do you feel about the COVID-19 vaccine?

• FOX 5 Las Vegas

Nevada officials want to know how the public and healthcare workers feel about the COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers at UNR School of Medicine are partnering with UNR's School of Community Health Sciences, Immunize Nevada and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study about what Nevadans think about the vaccine and whether they'd take the vaccine once made available to the public.

Daunting Challenges: Medical Education in Nevada

• Nevada Business Magazine

“We are still pretty far behind in many specialties,” said Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of health sciences at UNR.

Nevada Rural Health Conference Explores ‘Cross-Jurisdictional Sharing’

• Wyoming Public Media

“What's keeping a lot of us up at night and that is strains on rural health care capacity right now. [When] I think of capacity in rural areas, I think of hospital beds and workforce,” said John Packham, an associate dean at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Dallas woman was reinfected with COVID-19 after 4 months. 'You're absolutely not immune'

• Longview News-Journal

Armed with new antibodies, recovered patients might think they no longer have to take the same precautions or worry about reinfection, but that’s not the case, according to Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, who warns that there’s not enough data to know how effective antibodies are at fighting this novel coronavirus.

John Packham Ph.D., associate dean for the Office of Statewide Initiatives at UNR Med discusses mask mandates with the Mountain West News Bureau.

• Mountain West News Bureau NPR

Researchers saw a significant drop in coronavirus transmission in Kansas counties that adopted a state mask mandate while cases jumped 100% in counties that opted out. Dr. John Packham is with the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno, and says bottom line is the technology and the evidence base of both protecting yourself and protecting others with masks is growing. My hope is that we can move to de-politicize it and that it becomes normative, regardless of politics.

Unique form of COVID found in Northern Nevada

• KOLO Channel 8 News

“This virus matches mostly to the European strain, most of the strain we have also seen in New York and Washington. or California,” says Dr. Subhash Verma, an Associate Professor at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology. “But one big difference of what we saw here was 50% of the variant we picked up here is unique to Northern Nevada. Northern Nevada somehow has a unique mutation which is in one of the proteins which makes the virus replicate,” says Dr. Verma.

Untimely shortage: Medical lab technicians

• KOLO Channel 8 News

Every day the staff at the state’s Public Health Lab processes tests seeking answers important--even critical-- to our health. Health screenings for the state’s infants, testing well water and, of course, infectious diseases.

Feds halt shipments of rapid COVID-19 tests to Nevada

• Las Vegas Review Journal

“No test is perfect, but there are consequences to varying degrees of less perfect,” said Mark Pandori, who directs the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno. “If false positive individuals are put into quarantine along with other truly positive people, that is very bad,” he said.

Plant Power: Food as Medicine

• edible Reno-Tahoe

For Karen Bain, dietitian, health and wellness coach, and diabetes care and education specialist at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, a plant-based diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet that health care professionals have been promoting for years. “The Mediterranean eating plan has been a great way to eat, especially for those with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure,” Bain explains. “It is very plant centered, though it brings lean proteins into the eating plan.”

California’s New COVID Testing Lab

• KMAX-TV CBS13 Sacramento

California’s new $25 million coronavirus testing lab is supposed to revolutionize testing. The state’s $1.7 billion contract with PerkinElmer requires the diagnostics company return results out of the lab in 24 to 48 hours. CBS13 shared our results withDr. Mark Pandori, the director of Nevada’s public health lab and formally the public health lab director in San Francisco and Alameda counties.

COVID-19 Infection May Not Result In Guaranteed Total Immunity: Lancet

• Medical Dialogues

There are still many unknowns about SARS-CoV-2 infections and the immune system's response, but our findings signal that a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection may not necessarily protect against future infection," said Mark Pandori, lead author of the study and director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Nevada Researchers Suggest The Virus That Causes COVID-19 Is Mutating Quickly


“We did find certain mutations that were virtually unique to Nevada,” explains Director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, Mark Pandori. “Now, we don’t know what that means, or why that’s the case, but we did see some, what we call ‘point mutations’.”

Getting a Jump on Affordable Care Act Enrollment for 2021

• Public News Service

Dr. Alexandra Watson, a family practice physician in Reno, said first and foremost, it's important to establish a relationship with a health professional, and if you've lost health insurance, to open enroll for the Affordable Care Act starting this Sunday.