Lab results: It was definitely the norovirus that made 15 people sick

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - Lab results have confirmed that norovirus was to blame for 15 people falling ill after a State Forests Advisory meeting in Forest Grove.

Fifteen people got sick at the meeting on March 15.

One person who was at the meeting, 43-year-old Kevin Weeks of McMinnville, died but the state medical examiner determined that the norovirus wasn't to blame. An exact cause of death was not given but the medical examiner said "it is safe to say that Mr. Weeks did not die from norovirus."

The suspected source is some fresh fruit that was served at the meeting. Health officials say it was likely contaminated during preparation or at the event. The caterer is cooperating with health investigators while they try to figure out how the fruit became tainted.

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes vomiting, diarrhea and a feeling of unusual tiredness. Health people normally recover in a day or two, but frail elderly and young children can get dangerously sick.

You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The best way to prevent the spread of norovirus is to practice proper handwashing, especially after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.