Flu Outbreak in NY Mountains

CATSKILL MOUNTAINS, NY [CHI] — The Flu has spread to multiple sleep-away camps and bungalow colonies in upstate New York. Being that today, June 12th, is visiting day for many camps, certain precautions have been taken.

“We have isolated the remaining flu cases in our infirmary,” said the nurse at Camp Emunah, a Jewish sleep-away camp for girls. “We suggest that flu patients take Tamiflu, but that only shortens the duration of the flu. We are not distributing it to the entire camp… There is no preventative [measure to be taken].”

While parents have been discouraged from visiting Gan Israel New York, a sleep-away camp for Jewish boys located in Parksville, NY, Camp Emunah feels that it is “entirely up to parents’ discretion,” one administrator said. Although a few girls have left camp for the summer, Camp Emunah administration has taken steps to minimize flu exposure and feels that it is safe for families to visit with their daughters for visiting day.

An administrator at Gan Israel New York said that the camp is discouraging families from visiting their camp, which B”H has not been stricken by the outbreak, in order to minimize the risk of bringing the influenza to the campgrounds. They have also placed purifying soaps around camp.

The following is a letter that was posted on Camp Gan Israel, Parksville’s website:

Dear Parents:

In light of the recent outbreak of the Swine Flu that is spreading in some of the bungalow colonies and camps in the Catskill Region, we strongly urge all parents and children who may have come in contact with the virus to refrain from coming to camp.

We strongly recommend that on visiting day, parents remain on campgrounds with their children, to prevent exposure or contact with the Flu. If you will be taking your children off camp grounds, please be cautious and do not take them to the bungalow colonies and camps that have had cases of the flu.

BH at present we have had no cases of the Swine Flu in our camp. We want to prevent any outbreak of the flu at our camp and are urging you to please assist us in maintaining and continuing a healthy and safe summer camp experience for your child and all our campers.


Rabbi J. Futerfas


Published:July 12 2009