About 400 cadets at the Air Force Academy — one in every 10 — have been laid low by the norovirus since late October, according to academy officials.

Norovirus is a highly contagious bug that causes diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms and can spread quickly in public places.

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported that infected cadets have been placed on bed rest that continues for at three days after their symptoms disappear, and medical personnel must clear the affected students before they can return to class.

The outbreak at the academy is part of a Colorado epidemic that has affected thousands of students, particularly in the western part of the state.

All 46 schools in the district serving Grand Junction and the surrounding area were closed Thursday and Friday and won’t reopen until after the Thanksgiving break to allow custodians to do a thorough disinfecting of all surfaces, according to a school district 51 spokeswoman.

The academy was closed Friday except for essential personnel due to a storm that blanketed Colorado Springs with 4-6 inches of snow.

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