10 kids at muscular dystrophy camp in Minnesota contract swine fluTen children attending a camp in Minnesota for kids with muscular dystrophy contracted the swine flu, contributing to the decision by the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national leadership to cancel the remainder of its summer camp program across the country.
By: Paul Walsh , Minneapolis Star Tribune
Ten children attending a camp in Minnesota for kids with muscular dystrophy contracted the swine flu, contributing to the decision by the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s national leadership to cancel the remainder of its summer camp program across the country.
The MDA of Minnesota operated the one-week
session at Camp Courage for Children on Maple Lake, about 50 miles west of the Twin Cities. It ended June 12.
“These children are much more vulnerable because of their weakened respiratory muscles, so we are taking this pre-emptive action to protect them from possible exposure to the swine flu,” Dr. Valerie Cwik, MDA’s national medical director, said.
About 1,800 children have attended 33 MDA summer camps nationwide in the past month. Canceled are 47 camps with an additional 2,500 children who had been scheduled to attend.
According to the MDA’s national office in Tucson, Ariz.: Out of 1,800 children who attended MDA camps this year, 11 cases of swine flu were reported after the children left camp. There were the 10 in Minnesota and one in Utah.
Also, six suspected cases have been reported during the MDA Summer Camp in Worcester, Pa., which ends tomorrow. One child from the Pennsylvania camp has been hospitalized and is in stable condition.
No deaths have been reported.
On Friday, MDA conferred with officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who concurred with the decision to cancel the camps, “based on the fact that these children are at such high risk for complications from the flu virus,” the MDA said in a statement Friday.
All children registered for camp as well as camp counselors, medical staff, paramedics and other volunteers are screened for any possible exposure to swine flu, as recommended by the CDC, the MDA said. However, a person may be infected with the virus and be contagious before actual symptoms appear, Cwik said.