Senior citizens feel trapped in their own home amid virus outbreak

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A senior citizen and his wife living at an assistant living facility in Summerlin say managers at their complex are making them feel trapped in their own home.

Larry Ishum contacted 13 Action News concerned after he says his wife was trying to leave their apartment to buy cat food.  They say a manager tried to tell them not to leave and to stay in their room.

"It feels like a prison," Ishum says.  He says it was until they argued back with the manager that they said his wife was allowed to leave.

The reason is that Atria Seville near Lake Mead and Rampart boulevards is currently dealing with a gastrointestinal outbreak.

The state is currently testing to determine if the outbreak is norovirus.  In the meantime, the complex is taking the proper precautions, posting a sign on the door, not allowing visitors, and canceling group activities. 

In a statement, management tells us "We are working closely with our local health department to take steps to prevent the spread of illness. We will continue to do everything we can to help the affected individuals return to good health as quickly as possible."

The Ishums says they appreciate the precautions but say the complex is going too far. "People get old they can get really sick, and they don't want more sick people but at the same token you've got to respect people's rights to let people do what they want to do and need to do," Marcella Ishum says.

In the meantime, there is information to help you keep safe. The CDC has issued guidelines on ways to prevent norovirus or other similar gastrointestinal illnesses, such as the stomach flu and food poisoning:

  • Practice proper hand hygiene 
  • Handle and prepare food safely, noting that people with norovirus should not prepare food for others during their illness and for two days following
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
  • Wash laundry thoroughly

While it's possible to contract the illness throughout the year, the peak times are between November to April. 

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