FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 19, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Guidance goes to more than hundreds youth camps across state
Hartford – The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that it is implementing a plan to limit the spread of novel H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, in youth camps.
“The health and wellness of our children is a top priority,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “At this time of year, when school is ending and many children are attending camps, it is important that the camps are aware of the seriousness of H1N1 and the best ways to protect the children attending their camps from it.”
DPH’s plan to limit the spread of novel H1N1 influenza in youth camps includes:
- Coordinating with local health departments and licensed camps throughout the state to assist them in addressing the current H1N1 situation while they prepare for the upcoming camp season.
- Encouraging camps to develop a working relationship with local health officials and plan jointly for possible contingencies during the camp season.
- Encouraging camps to pre-plan with parents/guardians regarding how illnesses or health emergencies among children attending camp will be handled.
- Encouraging camps to educate parents and staff about communicable disease prevention including specific information on how to recognize symptoms of influenza-like illness.
DPH is recommending guidance recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specific to novel H1N1 influenza and camps. In addition, DPH has advised camps of the procedures for reporting outbreaks and disease in a camp setting, and provided camps with an informational letter for parents regarding when to keep their children home from camp. The CDC guidance as well as the materials developed by DPH may be accessed by visiting the Connecticut Flu Watch at www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch/swineflu and are posted under the heading “Schools/Daycares/Camps.”
The Department of Public Health licenses more than 400 youth camps each year. Licensing assures that those programs that are licensed have achieved at least the minimum standards required by law to meet the health, safety and comfort needs of campers and staff.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.