Norovirus likely not the cause of man's death, officials say

Norovirus likely not the cause of man's death, officials say
FILE- Kevin Weeks. (KATU File image)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – The medical examiner no longer believes the death of a McMinnville man was caused by norovirus, according to the Washington County Medical Office Thursday night.

Kevin Weeks, 43, became sick after attending a State Forests Advisory meeting in Forest Grove with about 40 others Friday where 15 people got sick to their stomachs.

Over the weekend, those 15 people who got sick did not see a doctor. And by Monday, most people were feeling better. But by Tuesday morning, Weeks was dead.

The county health department says the fruit salad served at that day-long meeting might have been contaminated with norovirus.

The state epidemiologist emphasized it would be very unusual for a man of Weeks’ age to die from norovirus. He suspects he may have had another health condition that actually caused his death.

Officials are still waiting for lab results.

Weeks was a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry and had been with the department since 2007, according to Dan Postrel, with the department.

"Kevin was a highly capable energetic good humored PIO (public information officer). He was willing to go the extra mile, to go to any part of the state and do what it takes to get the word (out) and publicize what we do," Postrel said.

Weeks was married, Postrel said.

The advisory group is made up of citizens that helps make decisions on how forest land is managed, he said.

Norovirus is a highly contagious bug that contributes to 800 deaths a year in the United States.

Here are some of the symptoms the virus causes: Severe stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.

More information on Norovirus.