1 dead, 15 sick possibly from noro linked to fruit salad

KGW reports one person has died and 15 other people were sickened after a meeting in Forest Grove last Friday that may be linked to a norovirus outbreak, health officials said.

As first reported in the Oregonian, 43-year-old Kevin Weeks died Tuesday. Weeks, of McMinnville, was among 40 people to attend an Oregon Forests Advisory Committee meeting in Forest Grove.

Days after the meeting, Weeks and 15 other people who ate fruit salad at the meeting became sick with severe gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea, according to Tri-County Deputy Health officer Dr. Paul Lewis.  He added that the specific cause had not been determined but the symptoms and time frame were consistent with norovirus.

An autopsy was conducted Thursday and the State Medical Examiner’s office says Weeks’ cause of death was unknown, but did not appear to be norovirus. Lab results should be back in four to five days, and should reveal more.

The State Forests Advisory Committee met in the Forest Grove Community Auditorium. Breakfast and lunch were catered.

Weeks was a spokesman for the forestry department.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time