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Another Fallon leukemia case confirmed

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – A 14th case of childhood leukemia involving a small farming and Navy town in northern Nevada was confirmed Monday by state health officials.

The officials said the latest victim, a girl, has acute myelogenous leukemia. While different from 13 earlier cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia, the new case has been included in the childhood leukemia total.

Health Division spokesman John Flamm said acute myelogenous leukemia is a less commonly diagnosed form of the disease in children, while acute lymphocytic leukemia is the most common.



Flamm also said the Health Division is continuing its investigation into the cause of the leukemia cluster, working with federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and with Nevada’s congressional delegation.

He also said the latest victim isn’t a member of a Navy family. The 13th case, just reported last month, involved a three-year-old girl born in Fallon while her father was stationed at Fallon Naval Air Station. The family moved out of state last summer.




Normally, the rate of acute lymphocytic cases would be about three in every 100,000 people. With thirteen cases among about 25,000 people living in Churchill County, which encompasses Fallon, the rate in the area is far above normal.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia destroys bone marrow. While its cause is unknown, suspected triggers include radiation exposure, electromagnetic fields or volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, solvents and fossil fuels. Arsenic has not been linked to acute lymphocytic leukemia. Acut myelogenous leukemia is similar, although a different class of white blood cells are affected.


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