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Intestinal Virus Outbreak Shuts Down Mohonk Mountain House Resort In Catskills

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An iconic mountain resort in the Catskills was temporarily shut down Friday, after an illness there left hundreds of people sick.

As CBS 2's Steve Langford reported, an industrial cleaning firm with a couple of hundred workers was onsite Friday at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, 90 miles north of New York City. The 145-year-old resort had to send all its guests home after an intestinal virus sickened hundreds.

"It's a stomach virus," said Nina Smiley of Mohonk Mountain House, which has been family-owned since 1869, "and it hits people differently, and some people bounce back after a number of hours, and some people, it takes longer."

Reports of illness at the resort began a week ago. Resort management realized by Sunday they had a serious problem, requiring a disaster cleanup effort.

"They are touching every inch and they are sanitizing," Smiley said.

Management said it does not know the source of the stomach virus that struck guests and employees alike. The resort said it was working with the New York State Health Department, which confirmed to CBS 2 News the situation was consistent with norovirus.

"It could have started anywhere. It could have come from anywhere, and it could be from anywhere. This could happen anywhere," Smiley said.

The Mohonk Mountain House will remain closed for a week, as the exhaustive cleanup effort continues.

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