North Carolina Poison Control has already received 65 calls on new coronavirus line

Updated: Feb. 4, 2020 at 9:04 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolinians are already utilizing the North Carolina Poison Control’s coronavirus line, according to Dr. Michael Beuhler, the medical director of the NCPC.

In an interview with WBTV, Beuhler said that 65 people had called the helpline as of Tuesday afternoon.

Beuhler said the line was created to give North Carolinians the opportunity to speak with a trained professional about questions regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

“North Carolina, big state. People do travel around the world. People from around the world do come here. People have questions. People need to know are they at risk and what do they need to look out for,” explained Beuhler.

He said the line officially opened to the public last Thursday, but more calls have started coming in this week. The NCPC publicly announced the creation of the line in a press release sent out Monday.

WBTV dialed the line Tuesday night. The caller is immediately given a choice to continue in English or Spanish. The caller is then presented with a couple of options as to how they’d like to proceed.

“If you have questions about coronavirus, press one now to speak with a nurse or pharmacist. If you would like to hear a message about the symptoms of coronavirus and who’s at risk, press two. If you’d like to hear this message again, press three,” the audio recording lists.

Beuhler said each specific call is different. The medical director explained what some callers have been concerned about.

“People are worried. They’ve come back from traveling, maybe or not from China. They want to know, do they need to quarantine? They worry about inanimate objects, which do not carry the virus, that have been shipped over from China,” said Beuhler.

According to the press release from the NCPC, the line can help callers learn about precautions, symptoms and spreading as it pertains to the coronavirus.

“Allowing the public to reach, 24/7 365, a trained professional, either a pharmacist or a nurse, to answer your questions, we felt was very important,” said Beuhler.

Any North Carolina resident with a question or concern about the coronavirus is encouraged to call the line at 1-866-462-3821.

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