Swine Flu Closes MDA Camps


campSwine flu seems to have dropped from the headlines, but it hasn’t stopped being a problem especially for kids with muscular dystrophy who attended a summer camp put on by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Seven campers and three adults got sick after attending a muscular dystrophy camp in Minnesota, which led the MDA to cancel the remainder of its summer camps around the country. Around 2500 children will be affected.

That’s just sad for kids who had been looking forward to camp, but there’s a good reason. People with muscular dystrophy often take prednisone to help with their symptoms, which also lessens their immune system’s ability to attack diseases. Many also have underlying conditions such as weakened respiratory muscles that can make swine flu —or any type of infectious disease worse.

All ten of the people infected at the camp have recovered, and the camp facilities have been disinfected. No other groups who have booked the camp run by a rehabilitation facility have canceled.

The Minnesota camp wasn’t canceled because no one fell ill while they were at the camp —instead, the cases showed up a few days later. While everyone attending the camp, both workers and campers, were screened before the camp, someone could have been infectious but not yet showing symptoms of the disease.

This could have been lots worse than it was, but that doesn’t mean you should panic before sending your little one off to camp or day camp for the summer. As always, vigilant handwashing —something so simple is the best bet to stay healthy.