McMinnville resident Kevin Weeks dies suddenly; norovirus infection suspected cause
McMinnville resident Kevin Weeks, a former Yamhill County Sheriff's Office employee, died Tuesday at home.
The 43-year-old weeks was working as a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry at the time of his death.
He was among 40 people at a State Forests Advisory Committee meeting last Friday at the Forest Grove Community Auditorium, The Oregonian reported.
The forestry meeting was a daylong affair, with a catered breakfast and lunch. Last weekend, 15 people developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms, typical of a norovirus infection.
No one sought medical treatment. Many of the 15 people reported Monday they were feeling better. However, Weeks stayed home sick, and died the following morning.
The Oregon Public Health Division suspects that fruit salad carrying norovirus caused the illness. However, an exact cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy was conducted.
The salad was part of a buffet catered by Maggie's Buns, a Forest Grove establishment. The company also served same source fruit at other events and nobody attending got sick, which narrowed the outbreak to the meeting attended by Weeks.
Maggie Pike, owner of Maggie's Buns, did not return a call to The Oregonian.
Weeks worked for the sheriff's office at the public information officer from June 1997-August 2000, according to Sheriff Jack Crabtree. He left the department but returned and worked from November 2000-February 2001.
Weeks then took a position as a spokesperson with Oregon OSHA (Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division) and went to work for the Oregon Department of Forestry in 2007.
"Kevin was a very intelligent guy who was dedicated and knew the PIO business," Crabtree said. "Anyone that knew him knows that he was blessed with a voice that was second to none in the PIO business."
Survivors include his wife, Stacy, and a daughter.