CDC Traces 116 Virus Cases to 1 Boy at Summer Camp

Report: 80% of people in camp became infected
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2020 4:05 PM CDT
One COVID Case at Summer Camp Begets 116 More: CDC
The Wisconsin woods.   (Getty/vPaulTech LLC)

In early July, a few days after he tested negative for the coronavirus, a high school-age boy arrived at a summer camp in Wisconsin. The next day, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, he had a sore throat, a cough, and chills. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the outbreak says that 116 confirmed coronavirus cases—80% of the people at camp—can be traced to that one boy. He was isolated after showing symptoms. The state then tested nearly everyone in camp, finding at least one confirmed case in every dorm room and yurt. "COVID-19 spreads like wildfire when you bring a lot of people together in a relatively small space," a state health official said. None of the cases was fatal or even serious, the CDC reported, and no one was hospitalized.

"If there was one person who was ill with COVID-19, they easily spread that to everyone in their housing unit," the health official said. "And then the nature of summer camp where you eat meals together, go swimming together, do activities together, sing around the campfire together—all of those activities are great spreading events." Put that way, the camp—which the CDC didn't identify—does sound like trouble during a pandemic. "That's how it would go to one person to over 100 people in a very short period of time," she said, per the Journal Sentinel. On Aug. 11, the CDC said, everyone at camp was cleared to travel back home. Campers and staff members had come from 21 states and territories and two other countries. (More coronavirus stories.)

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