Virus strikes soldiers on Fort Benning

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -  Basic trainees at Sand Hill on Fort Benning endure rigorous training every day but a recent outbreak is stopping some in their tracks.

On Thursday, officials reported that 150 soldiers have come down with what they suspect is a food borne virus.

Common areas likes dining halls, barracks and buses are being sterilized, down to chairs and banisters.

The 150 sick soldiers have been isolated in separate barracks to stop the spread of the illness.

Public Affairs officials say 300 soldiers have reported to sick call over the past two days but only half actually have the gastrointestinal virus. The sickness lasts one to two days and causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Officials suspect it was spread by a food handler who was sick and coughed on the food or had dirty hands.

We're told the virus has been confined to one unit in basic training.

Fort Benning officials call the outbreak rare but say it is not extreme considering the close living quarters in the barracks in basic training. They say it is not an epidemic.

They add that the soldiers' training regiment has not been affected.

At any given time, there are 800-1000 soldiers in basic training on Fort Benning.

The Columbus Health Department has not received any reports of the virus in the city or surrounding areas.

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