Hope College Closed After 400 Fall Sick

Health officials in Michigan suspect norovirus is to blame. School may reopen Wednesday.

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Nicknamed the "Great Plague of 2008," the campus outbreak that has sickened more than 400 staff and students at Hope College forced school officials to cancel classes last Friday. All dining halls were closed and a number of sports events over the weekend were called off; the liberal arts college will most likely not hold class until this Wednesday.

Although the cause of the gastrointestinal sickness, which causes vomiting and diarrhea for 24 to 48 hours, has not yet been determined, health officials suspect the norovirus is to blame.

In order to quell the outbreak, students have been urged to stay on campus but avoid congregating in groups, since the sickness could be contagious up to three days after an individual recovers. Meanwhile, the school has been busy sanitizing all campus buildings.