Enterovirus EV-D68 Infects Children in North Carolina prompting FastMed Urgent Care to Issue Alert to Clinicians

Rare multi-state outbreak is landing unusually large numbers of vulnerable children in ICU

Clayton, NC – September 10, 2014 – FastMed Urgent Care, North Carolina’s largest urgent care network, issued an alert to hundreds of its clinicians throughout the state regarding Enterovirus EV-D68, the virus that has infected and hospitalized an unusually large number of children in eleven states so far, including North Carolina.  FastMed is also sharing advice on avoiding the virus and what to do if it is contracted.

“The virus is not unusual and typically peaks in September,” said Jason A. Williams, MPAS, Ph.D, FastMed Urgent Care’s Founder, CEO and President of the Eastern Region.  “What is unusual this year is the large number of critically ill children who require intensive care; it’s really unprecedented.”

EV-D68 is difficult to diagnose because it initially presents itself as common cold symptoms, but develops into cough, difficulty breathing (including wheezing), rash, and fever. 

“Asthmatic children are most at risk, so health care professionals and parents of asthmatic children should pay particular attention to these symptoms as severe respiratory illness by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy,” said Melvin G. Lee, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for FastMed in North Carolina.  “As chief medical officer I issued an advisory to our hundreds of clinicians throughout North Carolina to support accurate diagnosis of EV-D68 to ensure that we are all on the same page in our effort to stay ahead of the illness for our patients.”

FastMed is also sharing tips to help families manage the health of their children during this outbreak, including:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Keeping hands away from eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Restricting children from visiting hospitals;
  • Avoiding those who are infected;
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g. door knobs; toys); and
  • Keeping children at home if they are have symptoms.

Parents who suspect their child might have these symptoms should visit their pediatrician or a FastMed clinic.  In the case of any medical emergency, parents should immediately call 911 or their local emergency number.

About FastMed Urgent Care:
FastMed Urgent Care is an owner and operator of urgent care facilities with locations throughout North Carolina and Arizona.  FastMed focuses on the delivery of non-appointment based medicine to the non-emergency patient market.  The urgent care centers are open 365 days a year and are staffed with experienced and licensed physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. FastMed clinics hold The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation in compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in ambulatory health care. For more information, please visit www.fastmed.com. FastMed is managed by an affiliated entity of one of the investment funds of the Comvest Group.  

About the Comvest Group:
The Comvest Group, with $1.2 billion of assets under management, provides flexible financing solutions to lower middle-market companies through its equity and debt funds, often meeting time-critical and complex funding requirements.  The firm includes seasoned, senior level operating executives who partner with managers and owners of companies to operationally improve businesses and create long-term value. Since 2000, Comvest has invested more than $1.5 billion of capital in over 105 public and private companies.  For more information, please visit www.comvest.com.

Reuel Heyden
Sr. Dir. of Communications | Marketing
FastMed Urgent Care
Phone: 919.550.0821x1016
Email: r.heyden@fastmed.com