The Oregon State Hospital has been battling the norovirus since July 29 but believe the worst of it is over. Full Story

SALEM — The number of Oregon State Hospital patients and staff sick with a gastrointestinal illness totaled 170 Tuesday. But officials said they think they are beginning to win the battle against the highly contagious norovirus.

“It definitely looks as though the worst part is over,” said Richard O’Brien, nurse epidemiologist for the state hospital in Salem.

Most norovirus sufferers experience vomiting or diarrhea but recover in a day or two. Because hand-washing is the best prevention against contracting the virus and because the 124-year-old hospital is short on sinks, officials have installed portable hand-washing stations in the wards.