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H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu)
Much of the following information has been provided by Linda Ebner Erceg, R.N., M.S., P.H.N.
New CDC Recommendations for the Amount of Time Persons with Influenza-Like Illness Should be
CDC Expert References Summer Camps in July 24 Press Briefing
July 24, 2009 CDC Press Update: Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center on Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, references summer camps.
July 24, 2009 Media Reporting
The camp community is a preparedness community practicing protective behaviors and relationships. Click here to view innovative protective behaviors from the camp community
Please review the CDC's H1N1 Flu Web site for recent updates: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
Preparing for H1N1 and the upcoming flu season
A message from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, who are leading the efforts to prepare our Nation for the coming flu season.
This spring we were confronted with an outbreak of a troubling flu virus called 2009-H1N1. As the fall flu season approaches, it is critical that we reinvigorate our preparedness efforts across the country in order to mitigate the effects of this virus on our communities.
Today, we are holding an H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit in conjunction with the White House to discuss our Nation's preparedness. We are working together to monitor the spread of 2009-H1N1 and to prepare to initiate a voluntary fall vaccination program against the 2009-H1N1 flu virus, assuming we have a safe vaccine and do not see changes in the virus that would render the vaccine ineffective.
But the most critical steps to mitigating the effects of 2009-H1N1 won't take place in Washington — they will take place in your homes, schools and community businesses.
Taking precautions for this fall's flu season is a responsibility we all share. Visit Flu.gov to make sure you are ready and learn how you can help promote public awareness.
We are making every effort to have a safe and effective vaccine available for distribution as soon as possible, but our current estimate is that it won't be ready before mid-October. This makes individual prevention even more critical. Wash your hands regularly. Take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and if you do get sick, stay home from work or school.
We are doing everything possible to prepare for the fall flu season and encourage all Americans to do the same — this is a shared responsibility and now is the time to prepare. Please visit Flu.gov to learn what steps you can take to prepare and do your part to mitigate the effects of H1N1.
I talked to a representative from the CDC today. We understand that there are a great deal of conflicting messages circulating about the H1N1 virus. To clarify, at the present time the CDC have not changed their guidance and are not aware of any State Department of Health that has done so. It is acknowledged there is a great deal of study and consideration around H1N1 guidance BUT TO DATE there have been NO modifications of the CDC guidelines.
As a national association, we will continue to promote the CDC guidelines.
I continue to field many media calls about summer camp and the flu. Each time I have an interview, I stress that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance to camp professionals. I express to them that as professionals we have all heightened our standards and due diligence in regards to screening, monitoring, training, and best practices around sanitation and hygiene. I have shared with them our commitment to partner with parents and health officials in order to ensure children and youth are able to have these extraordinary camp experiences.
I recognize and appreciate all the hard work that each of you are doing in order to manage this health threat. Your response is admirable.
Join ACA's H1N1 Message Board (ACA Members Only). Share your questions and solutions regarding H1N1 at your camp with fellow directors. Ask questions...get answers and advice...from others who are experiencing outbreaks at their camps.
Parents are asking questions this summer regarding H1N1 and camp. ACA CEO Peg Smith addresses parent concerns and encourages families to work with their individual camp directors on specific questions in this short video.
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is working with the Association of Camp Nurses and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carefully monitor the H1N1 Influenza situation, and provide regular updates and information to our camps. ACA health and wellness standards require accredited camps to have an established procedure in practice to carefully screen for illness, injury, and communicable diseases. In addition, ACA-accredited camps are following best practices for universal precautions, including hand washing and site and facility sanitation. At this time, parents are encouraged to contact camps directly with specific questions. Additional information on H1N1 can be found at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/camp.htm.
Camp is Opening: Suggestions for Responding to Influenza-Like Illness (ILI)
Going into the Summer with H1N1: Information for Camp Professionals
Centers for Disease Control Offers H1N1 Flu Guidance to Organizations Hosting Summer Camps
H1N1 (Swine Flu): Information for Child Care Providers
The World Health Organization has moved the H1N1 Influenza threat from Phase 4 to Phase 5. This means that H1N1 is increasingly more adaptive to humans and more established within the human population. When I consider the impact upon our camp community, this tells me that we should (a) increase our personal protective behaviors and (b) become more intentional in our plans. Read about recommendations and key messages.
There is current information gathered from various sources at: http://www.pandemicflu.gov.
The H1N1 Influenza challenge is currently a "moving target." There aren't firm answers for a lot of our camp questions but, nevertheless, there are some things we can do to keep ourselves in the best position to address the problem. Currently, these include:
Access to reliable information in order to effectively respond to parent and/or staff questions as well as make decisions that are appropriate for one's camp. Suggested resources are:
Awareness – now – of campers and staff who live in areas currently impacted by the H1N1 threat. Depending on how the illness tracks in that country/location, things could get interesting. This is a "know about but wait and see before taking action" placeholder.
For camps currently hosting clients and/or user groups: Consider where these folks are from and the load of illness in that area. Contact the local Department of Health if concerned about bringing this group to camp; local officials can help make a decision regarding feasibility. At this point, the load of illness in the U.S. is currently small and segregated to specific geographical locations (although I expect that to change).
Consider your supply of protective equipment, especially access to facial masks, gloves and sanitizing options for both hands and surfaces. If the Swine Flu threat starts to increase, consider providing protective equipment to help minimize potential impacts. These recommendations are based on what we currently know; they may change as we learn more about this flu.
This page will be updated as more information becomes available.