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COVID-19 Lambda variant found in Las Vegas wastewater, UNLV professor says

Posted at 11:58 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 11:52:17-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Scientists at UNLV confirm with 13 Action News they found the COVID-19 Lambda variant in the Las Vegas valley.

Dr. Edwin Oh, an associate professor at UNLV, says the variant has been discovered in wastewater.

He says this means we could see our first human infections soon. Dr. Oh adds the Delta variant was present throughout all wastewater facilities.

Dr. Oh says a recent analysis shows case counts are going down in low income neighborhoods while case counts go up in high income neighborhoods. He suggests the discrepancy in numbers may be due to a decrease in COVID-19 testing.

“One of the possible explanations for this scenario is that the number of testing sites in low income neighborhoods have gone away, they’ve gone down. So if you’re getting testing now, you have the time and the means to do so,” Dr. Oh added.

Dr. Oh believes the amount of air travel that is picking back up may be a factor in the Lambda variant now showing up in our waste water.

Doctors say the best way to fight the rising Coronavirus numbers is to get vaccinated. Dr. Oh says vaccination rates should be closer to 80 or 90 percent. Right now, the vaccination rate in Southern Nevada is just over 50 percent.