CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Patients and dozens of employees have contracted a stomach virus linked to a health care facility and now the Mecklenburg County Health Department is involved.
Carolinas Healthcare System told Eyewitness News they’ve taken steps to contain it at their CMC-Randolph facility on Billingsley Road.
They told Channel 9 they aren't receiving patients transferred from other medical facilities until the place has been thoroughly disinfected. They said 46 employees and 19 patients are sick right now.
Carolinas Healthcare System officials told Eyewitness News the virus was likely brought in from the outside. They said they haven’t determined what the specific virus is, but the Department of Health thinks they know the issue behind the outbreak.
"We think this is the norovirus,” Dr. Marcus Plescia, with Mecklenburg Health Department, said.
That causes stomach symptoms, including vomiting. Most people get over it in a few days but it can be dangerous for people who have other health conditions. And it's hard to get rid of; the norovirus can't be killed with the alcohol in hand sanitizers.
"Those don't work for the norovirus,” Plescia said. “Norovirus is kind of a wily virus. It's not killed by that."
That's why CHS said they're disinfecting affected areas using bleach and a device that emits germ-killing UV light. But people who live nearby are still concerned.
"You go to the hospital to get help and you come out sicker, that's ridiculous,” Jacobs said.
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