125 Veterans Sick With Norovirus

VA buildingWHITE CITY, Ore. — Veterans could be seen crossing Crater Lake Highway on Wednesday to grab a cup of coffee or go to the convenience store. Along the way, each one was talking about the Norovirus, and some even said Wednesday was the first day they were feeling better after first feeling symptoms on Saturday.

While police greeted those entering the V.A. and told them of the Norovirus outbreak, veteran Norman Ehrig got out of his room for the first time since feeling sick.

“Just kind of feeling tired at first, groggy, which is not normal for me because I’m pretty active,” said Ehrig.

About 125 Vets along with about 25 staff members have come down with Norovirus since Saturday.

“This is very contact oriented, it’s not airborne, it’s by touch,” said V.A. Infection Preventionist Sue Thurston.

Thurston said about 470 vets live at the V.A, and more than a quarter of them are sick.

“To date we have approximately 125 residents who have been through the treatment room and through the infirmary. We have sent a few to the hospital for rehydration and they have come back,” said Thurston.

Veterans are being asked to not leave their rooms until they feel better and bag meals are dropped off at their rooms.

“We’re wiping down everything you can touch –  all the side rails, all the doorknobs, all the vending  machines, all the rooms, all the surfaces, every single flat surface is being wiped down and  disinfected,” said Thurston.

Ehrig said even though he’s starting to feel better, it may be days before things return to normal.

“Well, it’s just a lot of hand washing, a lot of people are walking around with masks,” said Ehrig.

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