Swine Flu Leads to Unhappy Campers

As outbreaks spread like wildfire, counselors quarantine kids
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 11:25 AM CDT
Swine Flu Leads to Unhappy Campers
A young girl wears a mask to keep the germs out.   (Shutterstock)

H1N1 may not have ended civilization as we know it, but it’s ruined a lot of stays at summer camp, the New York Times reports. Camps are dry tinder for flu outbreaks, and many have canceled or postponed this year's sessions. Others have been split nearly in half to quarantine infected campers. “We’ve never had flu in the summer like this,” said Maine’s public health director. “We have 33 camps in Maine with outbreaks.”

“We’ve taken 6,000 temperatures this summer,” says one camp director, who’s seen 90 of his 380 campers fall ill. “We’ve bought all the Clorox wipes in every Wal-Mart we could drive to.” Like many camps, his distributes Tamiflu, which has largely stopped the outbreak. But Tamiflu is expensive, and its use as a preventative rather than a treatment is controversial. “I can’t recommend it,” says the public health director. “You start breeding resistance.” (More summer camp stories.)

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