CORVALLIS, Ore. — Nearly one-third of residents at a Corvallis nursing home have been sick within the last week after a respiratory illness spread through Corvallis Manor, and staff members are asking visitors to keep their distance.
Corvallis Manor says 21 of its 67 residents have experienced cold-like symptoms – some even with conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.
“It’s in the community,” said Karen Sechrest, the Director of Nursing at Corvallis Manor. “I believe that we’re the only one in Benton County right now in a population such as ours that’s experiencing it. A lot of residents are complaining of sore throats and watery eyes.”
Pat Preston, an infection control consultant working on the case, says common viral tests have come back negative, so now the Manor will have cultures tested for bacterial bugs.
“This is a respiratory illness outbreak with a pinkeye component,” Preston said. “But not everyone had conjunctivitis.”
The Manor, however, says it is not calling the case an “outbreak,” saying the word makes the case seem more worrisome than it is. In the meantime, Preston says staff at Corvallis Manor is doing everything it needs to do in order to implement precautionary measures to make sure the disease does not spread.
“We encourage everyone to wash their hands for a full 20 seconds and to use the hand sanitizing stations,” Sechrest said. “We’re also using contact and droplet precautions – those who go into certain rooms are required to wear masks, gloves, and gowns.”
On Tuesday, Sechrest said 13 residents were still experiencing symptoms.
“We’re encouraging them to stay in their rooms, but if they want to leave we’re asking them to wear the gloves, masks, and gowns.”
Sechrest says the nursing home’s goal is to keep everyone healthy, so it is asking family and friends not to visit this week if they do not have to.
“We have not closed the door to visitors,” Sechrest said. “But we do ask that you please make an informed decision. You know what’s going on.”
Sechrest says the bug is starting to abate, and that residents are getting better. In the meantime, the bacterial lab tests should be back within the next couple days.