Ky. camps safe from swine flu so far

ctruman@herald-leader.comJune 23, 2009 

Although cases of the H1N1 swine flu have dotted the Southeast this summer and closed some residential summer camps, Kentucky camps have emerged largely unscathed.

Statewide, as of Friday, there were 109 cases of swine flu, with six of those in Fayette County. The last two were reported June 1, making it three weeks since a case was reported in Lexington.

But no cases have been reported at summer camps, including the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council camps now operating at Camp Shawano in Jessamine County and Camp Cardinal in Carter County. Similarly, the Boy Scouts' Camp McKee, which spreads across parts of Montgomery County and Powell County, has seen no swine flu cases.

Both scout organizations say they monitor campers for fever and other indications of swine flu.

"We have had no suspected cases," said Kelly Hampton, scout executive and chief executive officer of the Bluegrass Council of the Boy Scouts of America. "We have had no issue at all."

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the appearance and number of swine flu cases in Kentucky as "sporadic." States in the Northeast and a few in the West are classified as having "widespread" swine flu activity.

Boy Scouts at a camp near Asheville, N.C., were checked for swine flu last week after at least 19 scouts from two states were sent home with symptoms and 10 tested positive for the disease.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association said Friday that it had canceled the remainder of its annual summer camp program. The organization runs 33 summer camps around the country; its Kentucky camp this year was to have been in Scottsville, near Bowling Green.

The association said that about 1,800 children have attended 33 muscular dystrophy association summer camps in the last month, and 2,500 were scheduled to attend the remaining 47 camps that have now been canceled.

The association said that 11 cases of swine flu were reported after 1,800 children left camp. Ten cases were reported after a Minnesota camp ended June 12, and one child from a Pennsylvania camp was hospitalized. Six suspected cases were reported at the MDA Summer Camp in Worcester, Pa.

Swine flu has been reported in religious camps in Clayton, Ga.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Cleveland, Ga.

Reach Cheryl Truman at (859) 231-3202.

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