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Nevada Front Page

School of Medicine in the News

Nevada Reports 1st Case of More Contagious COVID-19 Variant

• U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Mark Pandori, the director of the lab at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, said the variant was discovered after genomic sequencing late last week of a specimen from in a symptomatic woman in her 30s in Las Vegas.




Dr. Tim Baker discusses medical student training for COVID-19 vaccine administration

• KTVN Channel 2 News

As thousands of people patiently add their name to wait lists for the vaccine, and with new doses arriving at the health district on a weekly basis, medical students are getting ready to help. Dr. Tim Baker discusses how medical students are getting trained to volunteer assistance with COVID-19 vaccination efforts, if and when needed.


Study: 35% of Nevada residents unlikely to get virus vaccine

• Tahoe Daily Tribune

A new study found about one-third of Nevada residents currently are unlikely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but their explanations of their reasoning suggests it’s possible to persuade many to change their minds, one of the lead researchers said.



Study: 35% of Nevada residents unlikely to get virus vaccine

• Nevada Appeal

A new study found about one-third of Nevada residents currently are unlikely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but their explanations of their reasoning suggests it’s possible to persuade many to change their minds, one of the lead researchers said.


Waiting for the virus variant

• Reno News & Review

“(That) means that people need to continue with the measures of mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing that we know work,” said Dr. Mark Riddle, professor and associate dean of clinical research at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine. “While we don’t know exactly how the new variant renders the infection more contagious, such personal protective measures provide broad protective ability and thus need to be continually employed in our communities.”




Study: 35% of Nevada Residents Unlikely to Get Virus Vaccine

• U.S. News & World Report

A new study found about one-third of Nevada residents currently are unlikely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but their explanations of their reasoning suggests it’s possible to persuade many to change their minds, one of the lead researchers said.



Survey: One out of three Nevadans are unlikely to take COVID-19 vaccine

• KOLO Channel 8 News

About two out of three Nevadans said in a survey they are likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine reported Wednesday. That compares to about 71 percent of the U.S. population from around the same time.


UNR School of Medicine publishes report on vaccine desirability

• This is Reno

Dr. Mark Riddle, Associate Dean of Clinical Research at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lead investigator joined Dick at the briefing and reported about perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccination across populations and demographics in Nevada.


Your vaccine is on its way | John Packham

• Reno Gazette Journal

In northern Nevada, like most areas of the state and country, we are witnessing the slower-than-everyone-expected distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines — a glacial pace if your “tier” has you next in line or you’re one of the millions of Americans eager to be vaccinated.


Nevada lab looking for UK variant in patients

• KOLO Channel 8 News

By now most of us have seen pictures of the coronavirus, the organism responsible for the COVID pandemic. While science has solved many mysteries concerning this virus. There is one universal fact they already know. “All living things actually make mistakes when they are copied,” says Dr. Mark Pandori, Nevada State Health Lab Director, “Or when they reproduce. We call them mistakes, but it is a mutation, actually,” he says.


State’s COVID testing now screens for new variant

• Pahrump Valley Times

The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory has begun screening people for the B.1.1.7. variant of the novel coronavirus, state COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and Chief of Tasting Dr. Mark Pandori said at Wednesday’s briefing on the state of the pandemic in Nevada.


Nevada reports 60 deaths from COVID-19 — a record one-day toll

• Las Vegas Review Journal

The state laboratory has been monitoring for the presence of coronavirus variants, specifically a more-contagious variant first detected in the United Kingdom in September, which has since spread to several states. So far, lab director Mark Pandori said during a briefing for reporters, 400 positive samples collected between Dec. 19 and Dec. 30 have not detected the variant. The variant, and a similar strain found in South Africa, spread more easily and quickly but do not appear to be more deadly or cause more severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Nevada state health experts prepare for spread of new coronavirus strain

• KRNV News 4

Dr. Mark Pandori with the Nevada State Public Health Lab says this strain is more contagious but is not more lethal than the regular COVID-19 strain. It's coping itself which is what we call mutating in virology," says Dr. Pandori. "The more a virus spreads in a community, the more opportunities it has to make mistakes when it copies itself. This leads to what we see here and it's a very natural part of viruses.

New COVID-19 strain not detected in Nevada yet, but surveillance ramps up

• KSNV News 3 Las Vegas

Thus far, the strain hasn’t been detected in Nevada, according to Dr. Mark Pandori, the Chief of Testing with the Nevada State Public Health Lab. “It’s a matter of when, not if. If you see it in Colorado, it’s not a revelation that it exists in many locations in the United States right now,” he said. Pandori says the Nevada State Public Health Lab is ramping up genetic surveillance, as well as testing capabilities. “By close of business next week, we will be able to screen every single positive case in Nevada for the genomics associated with B117 so that we can cast the widest net possible to ascertain whether this strain is in our community or not,” he said. “As we enter 2021, the Nevada State Public Health Lab’s bandwidth for testing should be much larger than it was at the end of 2020.”


COVID-19 test positivity rate still more than 20%

• Pahrump Valley Times

Pandori said Nevada will begin utilizing new equipment, and additional staff have been trained for the new year, allowing for greater testing capacity. Preliminary data suggests that while the B117 variant of the virus might spread and infect more readily, but it appears to not cause more severe illness, Pandori added, noting the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine is not expected to be compromised.


New COVID-19 strain ‘certainly will’ come to Nevada, health official says

• KLAS 8 News Now Las Vegas

Dr. Mark Pandori, director of Nevada State Public Health Lab, said the mutation is more contagious, but does not affect the body any differently than the strain that came from Wuhan, China. This specific mutation allows the virus to spread more rapidly, which health officials find the most concerning. However, the variant is not any more lethal and does not cause a more severe illness, Pandori said.


When will U.K. coronavirus strain come to Nevada?

• Las Vegas Review Journal

When will the new — and more contagious — strain of the coronavirus from the U.K. arrive in Nevada? “We shouldn’t mince words or cloak our scientific hypotheses on this. … It’s already here, most likely,” said Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno. “The only reason that we don’t see many cases of it in the United States is that we’ve not stood up any rational means of surveillance for it,” Pandori said in an interview Wednesday.


The Fauci Effect

• KOLO Channel 8 News

Here at the University of Nevada Reno, School of Medicine applications for admission started increasing about five years ago. While the admissions director says Dr. Fauci is certainly an inspirational figure in medicine, she also points to the pandemic itself as another reason for an interest in medical school.


Could ‘Fauci effect’ lead to more doctors in Southern Nevada?

• Las Vegas Review Journal

UNR Med Director of Admissions Tamara Martinez-Anderson said she agrees that Fauci is an inspiration, but “most of this year’s applicants began preparing for the admissions process long before the pandemic arrived,” she said in a statement.