Soldiers were encouraged to wash their hands after about 150 trainees fell ill with a mild gastrointestinal virus causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea Wednesday, a Fort Benning officials said Friday.
“Some went back to training right away and others were isolated so they would not spread it to their counterparts,” said Monica Manganaro, a Fort Benning spokeswoman.
Manganaro said some of the soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, a basic training unit, started showing signs Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, more soldiers from the same battalion started showing signs but there were no new reports of sickness Friday.
To search for the cause of the virus, a staffer from preventive medicine at Martin Army Community Hospital was sent to the training unit. That investigation was unable to pinpoint the cause of the virus. Officials are now focusing on the food service in the dining facility.
Officials also cleaned the soldiers living quarters, common areas in the barracks and transport vehicles.
Soldiers placed in different living quarters appeared better after a day or two. Officials are reinforcing the need for soldiers to wash their hands frequently.
“Soldiers have alcohol based hand sanitizer,” Manganaro said. “Nothing can replace soap and water.”