Ten Ontario summer camps have now been affected by the H1N1 flu virus, with either confirmed cases or reports of respiratory illness that are under investigation. But health officials are telling parents that all cases are mild and all camps are safe and open.
Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson David Jensen said there have been four confirmed H1N1 flu outbreaks at province camps - one in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District and three in the Simcoe Muskoka District.
The camp in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District was forced to close as a result of the infection, but reopened on July 13, Mr. Jensen said.
A combined 230 campers and 77 staff members at Simcoe Muskoka District's Camp Ramah, Olympia Sports Camp, and Camp Tamarack have been sickened by the flu so far, but all cases have been mild and no one has been sent to hospital, said Charles Gardner, chief medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
The remainder of suspicious respiratory illness outbreaks - three in Simcoe Muskoka and three in the North Bay Perry Sound District - are now under investigation.
Campers at one of the three new Simcoe Muskoka camps have already tested positive for Influenza A, but Dr. Gardner said the unit is still awaiting results confirming which strain.
Bill Mindell, director of clinical service at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said all camps in the region are now at a heightened level of vigilance and taking precautions, including cleaning more thoroughly, isolating sick campers, and screening newcomers who could introduce the virus.
While more cases are expected, he said that parents should not be concerned.
"It's well under control," Mr. Mindell said. "Don't worry, send your kid to camp."
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