CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The IV bags are already out and ready at Presbyterian Hospital’s Urgent Care Center on RandolphRroad.
They know what’s coming.
Patients have been coming in every day for the last month with a stomach bug health officials call the norovirus.
”We’ve been having it every day, and I’m sure we’ll have more today,” said Dr. Charles Bregier. “It’s increased recently, probably every day we’ve been seeing several cases of it. [There is an] every day need (of) IV fluids and other medications to reverse the dehydration that can easily come with an infection like this.”
Things got so bad that earlier this week the state health department issued a formal statement urging people to wash their hands to help slow the spread.
Several Charlotte area nursing homes were on quarantine. Some residents were told to stay in their rooms, outsiders told to stay away.
“Nursing homes, there’s a lot of elderly people. If they don’t take steps quickly to limit the spread, you can have a very serious outbreak affecting lots and lots of people,” Dr. Bregier added.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department reports between 150 and 200 nursing home residents and staff came down with the virus, but the quarantines have now all been lifted.
“The most important message we have right now is that people who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea should not work, go to school or attend daycare while they are having symptoms,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies. “Everyone needs to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. This is the most effective way to protect yourself and others against norovirus since hand sanitizers alone are not as effective against this hardy virus.”