9 Investigates norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes

by: Tina Terry Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Two Charlotte area nursing homes are quarantined after a viral outbreak and patients have been confined to their rooms for weeks with no visitors allowed.
After receiving several calls from concerned family members, Eyewitness News uncovered the nursing homes are dealing with the norovirus, with dozens of patients are sick.

The health department said three senior facilities have reported outbreaks of the norovirus this year.

Channel 9 talked to one woman at The Laurels in Highland Creek about how the facility is taking drastic measures to keep it from spreading.

The Health Department said the norovirus isn't deadly but could lead to other dangerous illnesses in seniors.

Officials said the virus broke out at two senior facilities called the Laurels -- one in Pineville and the other in northeast Charlotte. 

The two facilities have different staffs and directors and it's unclear how the virus broke out at both locations.   

There were signs at The Laurels in Highland Creek Tuesday saying it will be under quarantine until Friday. 
One senior who lives there said she and other residents have been confined to their rooms for seven days and can't have any visitors.

"We have to stay in our room and eat in our room. We don't go out for anything," she said.

State health officials said the facility reported the norovirus outbreak on Feb. 3. 

The facility in Pineville reported it last week.
Mecklenburg County's health department said the outbreak in Pineville is under control and is working with the Laurels at Highland Creek.
The Health Department said about two dozen staff and seniors here are sick with the virus.
They said generally the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms, isn't deadly but it can lead to other illnesses in seniors and that is one reason why confinement is so important.

In a statement, the facility said it is cooperating with the health department and is taking steps to deal with the issue.

For more information on norovirus:  http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/