Norovirus confirmed as illness that closed Hope College

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bay November 18, 2008, 4:54 PM

Tuesday November 18, 2008, 4:54 PM

By The Grand Rapids Press

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HOLLAND -- The illness that closed Hope College for five days was caused by a norovirus, and this ranks as the largest single norovirus outbreak ever in Michigan.

Tests of samples first provided the state were inconclusive, although

health officials identified the virus as "noro-like." New tests of samples sent to the Michigan Department of Community Health confirmed the agent as norovirus, according to Dr. Paul Heidel, Ottawa County medical director.

On advice from the health department, college officials have been using strategies for treating norovirus since the first symptoms were identified when students came to the campus health center in droves on Nov. 6. The college was closed Nov. 7-11.

Health officials have confirmed 518 reported cases among students, faculty and staff, according to Dr. Heidel.

College officials said that since Nov. 14, they have received fewer than 20 reports, most of them from people no longer ill.




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