Summer camps hit by swine flu fears

June 25, 2009 4:44:42 PM PDT
Just a couple days ago, we talked about swine flu concerns at summer camps across the country. Now it's hitting close to home.We've been following the spread of swine flu through dozens of summer camps across the country, including here in Texas. Now dozens of Fort Bend County teens found out just how serious the situation is when their religious camp in Colorado came to a sudden end because of concerns about the H1N1 virus, or the swine flu.

The buses arrived Thursday morning carrying more than 70 Ft. Bend County teens and counselors from a Young Life summer camp in Buena Vista, Colorado. Their week of fun and games were cut short because of swine flu fears.

"We were quarantined for a couple of hours actually, for about maybe seven hours, and they told us, they were like, 'Okay, we have to kick you out of camp. We can't spread the flu,'" said Ashlyn Belding, 15.

One of the teens on the bus ride to Colorado came down with flu-like symptoms leading to the quarantine. The shortened stay was a tough blow for some of the teens who looked forward to coming for months.

"I was really, really upset. I spent pretty much the whole day crying about it. So I was really upset," said Caitlin Papso, 15.

Seven Ft. Bend youngsters remain quarantined in Colorado after testing positive for A1 flu.

"I guess they can't take any chances for anybody getting really, really sick," said Cody Bellamy, 17.

The Texas chapter of the American Camp Association said two camps in the state have reported cases of what is believed to be swine flu, four at one camp and two at the other.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has canceled its remaining 47 camps across the country, including one in north Texas because their kids are especially vulnerable.

Now some camps are delaying the start of sessions or shortening them. Officials with Young Life said they'll refund families for their shortened trip, but that's little consolation for the teens who missed out.

"It was supposed to be the best week of our life and we had to leave because of the flu," said Bellamy.

Despite this, health experts still said parents should have no fear of sending a healthy child to summer camp, but they said just like a boy scout or a girl scout, to be prepared.

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Christi Myers is ABC13's Healthcheck reporter

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