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New York hotel shut down: Catskill resort plagued by vomiting staff and guests

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A Catskill mountain resort hotel in upstate New York was temporarily shut down due to an illness breakout that's hit cruise ships on more than one occasion. Norovirus is the suspected culprit that caused staff and guests alike to vomit uncontrollably.

The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, located 90 miles north of NYC had to shutter their doors once the intestinal virus sickened hundreds. An industrial cleaning company with a crew of a couple hundred workers was onsite Friday, according to CBS New York on Feb. 7.

The 145-year-old Catskill resort hotel shut down Friday and brought the professional cleaning firm in to give the hotel a thorough scrub down.

"It's a stomach virus," said Nina Smiley of Mohonk Mountain House, "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 surfaced on Jan. 31, but it wasn't until the virus spread to hundreds within just a few days that hotel management realized they had a serious problem on their hands, necessitating a disaster cleanup.

That prompted Rebecca Fishbein to write on the Gothamist, "It's not just cruise ship passengers that get treated to mass diarrheal vomitfests."

Smiley said the cleanup crew is cleaning and sanitizing every inch of the hotel. Management can't pinpoint the outbreak of the stomach virus, so they're working with the N.Y. State Health Dept., who confirmed to CBS 2 that the situation was "consistent" with norovirus.

That's the same highly-contagious illness that allegedly turned a Royal Caribbean cruise ship into a, "floating boat of bodily fluids," in January.

The virus can strike anywhere. It's generally not fatal, but it's no fun either, often leaving victims with nonstop vomiting, diarrhea and other intestinal problems.

The Mohonk Mountain House will remain closed for the first half of the upcoming week, as the exhaustive cleanup effort continues.

A spokesperson for the Mohonk they should be ready to reopen by Valentine's Day.

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