The Goa campus of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) has suspended classes for more than two weeks after 47 students contracted jaundice.

The institute, located at Sancoale, has 2,400 students on its rolls. It shut down on Friday and will remain closed till October 11, authorities said on Saturday.

Speaking to IANS, BITS public relations officer (PRO) R.P. Pradhan said classes had been suspended till October 11 as a precautionary measure because of the jaundice outbreak.

“We have advised students to travel home during this period, because it is also festive time. They can take medical aid at facilities near their homes. This was a conscious decision taken by the management and not a result of panic,” Mr. Pradhan said.

He said the institute was trying to get to the bottom of the possible cause behind the jaundice outbreak.

“It first started in the hostel, when a couple of cases were detected. From there it spread to several more students this week. We have ensured that all hostels have been vacated,” Mr. Pradhan said.

Head of the State-run directorate of health services Rajnanda Desai said a team had been sent to take water samples from various sources on the BITS campus.

“We have advised the management to vaccinate their students for hepatitis,” Mr. Desai said.

On Thursday, a city high school was closed down for a week when two of its students contracted swine flu.