A sleepaway camp is under investigation as 54 children became ill with gastrointestinal issues. The camp is Rock Eagle 4-H center, and is in Putnam County in Georgia. The camp is run by the University of Georgia, and is now being investigated by health authorities in an attempt to figure out what caused the sudden outbreak of illness.
According to AJC News, Nancy Nydham of the Georgia Department of Public Health stated that “Symptoms began late Wednesday/early Thursday and include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea." She also added that the affected children have gone back home. There were some cases of kids falling ill earlier in the week, however there was a flood of cases by the weeks end.
The camp is continuing to run daytime programs, but overnight programs are on hold while they attempt to do a thorough clean of the facility.
Health authorities are also advising the facility clean the pool on the premises. They are taking the opportunity to collect materials for testing in an attempt to figure out what was the cause for all of those children becoming so sick. This is a very popular camp in the area. Test results should be available to the health authorities in the upcoming week.
It can be hard for a parent to send their kids to an overnight camp, so it must be a bit of a shock for these families to hear of their kids becoming so ill. That being said, gastrointestinal illnesses can be easily spread in confined spaces with a lot of people. Additionally, sickness is often spread quickly among children, as you can see in daycares and schools. The camp is continuing to run after the weekend's attempt to deep clean the space. Camp staff have also been given the weekend off.
The kids affected by this were in grades 4 through 6. Although they all left at different points, they all are now returned home. According to Channel 2 Action News, the length of illness for most of these kids ranged between 8 and 24 hours. Hopefully they are all well now, and some answers can be attained from the Health Department's testing of the premises.