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July 23rd, 2009
11:03 AM ET

Camp ’09 – The summer of swine flu

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/07/22/swine.flu.vaccine.trials/art.H1N1.virus.color.cdc.jpg caption="Concern about the H1N1 virus grew after it spread quickly around the globe earlier this year."]
Tamar Lewin
The New York Times

Parents who arrived for visiting day on Sunday at Camp Matoaka in Smithfield, Me., got a tiny bottle of Purell, and at lunch, the serving staff wore masks and gloves.

“This is a different year,” said Jason Silberman, the director.

The shimmering lakes are as idyllic as ever, the bunks as cozy, and the dining halls as deafening, but here in Maine, summer camp is not quite the same in the era of H1N1. Temperature checks start the moment the campers get off the bus or plane. Many intercamp sports and socials have been canceled or postponed. And hand sanitizer is everywhere.

“We’ve never had flu in the summer like this,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Maine’s public health director. “We have 33 camps in Maine with outbreaks, and another 10 in the pipeline being tested. Some of them have 70 to 100 kids in isolation, so they’re running shadow camps for them.”

Dr. Mills and other experts believe the outbreaks here are a barometer for what will happen in the schools this fall.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Jacqueline

    This whole thing has been blown out of proportion if you ask me. It's this year's SARS and everyone is just too paranoid about it. People get sick, it's a fact of life but this scary freak out is just getting everyone panicked. What happens if camps close, people loose their jobs this is just hurting the economy more. Here in Canada no one is not sending their kids to camp just because of an illness. Stop freaking out.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    I didn't really see what the swine flu in the camps were telling about this fall – whether the outbreaks will be widespread and very virulent or what. I suppose that if children in our schools get swine flu they will lose the school after a certain number of cases. We have a high school, middle school and elementary school – if a family has a child in each of those schools and that family gets swine flu they can infect 3 schools at once plus whatever day care they might be using. The of course there are the parents who might become infected.; Whoever makes tamiflu is probably going to make a lot of money this fall.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  3. Joanne R. Pacicca

    Could someone please tell me the symptoms of the swine fle and the H1N1..how they differ?

    July 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  4. Cindy

    There was a camp here in Georgia where a lot of the kids got the swine flu...73 in all. They closed the camp. The kids were sent home, given meds and put in quarantine for 7 days. All of them got well and are fine now.

    Cindy...Ga.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:37 am |