Swine flu hits Jewish camps near Toronto


TORONTO (JTA) — Jewish summer camps near Toronto have been hit by the swine flu.

At Camp Ramah, 135 miles north of the city, the parent of an infected child told the Toronto Star she found out from camp officials that about 100 campers and staff had the H1N1 virus.

In a July 7 letter to parents, the camp wrote, "We are continuing to see a few new cases of flu-like symptoms each day." The letter goes on to say, "We are not alone in dealing with flu this summer. Most summer camps in the Muskoka region are experiencing similar issues."

Camp Ramah, with 450 campers, issued a statement Wednesday night saying it has had an unspecified number of cases, all mild. The coed camp’s daily life has not been interrupted.

"Our staff have been outstanding and the reaction from our parents has been extremely supportive," director Michael Wolf said. "All cases have been mild, with campers recovering in a few days."

At Camp Agudah, an Orthodox Jewish camp also north of Toronto, as many as 40 youngsters have developed flu-like symptoms over the past three weeks, which camp medical staff are attributing to H1N1, said director Rabbi Moishe Blaustein.

"We have two to three girls in quarantine who are still ill, and another two or three of those who were sent home are still sick," Blaustein told the Star. "Some of our campers were quite ill."  

At Camp George, a Reform facility in Parry Sound, Ont., at least one girl was sent home and the rest of her cabin was isolated.

There have been 10,156 confirmed cases of H1N1 in Canada, and 44 deaths nationwide.

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