Communicable Diseases and Infestations

Updated June 2015

Every year, some of the most common calls received on the ACA Camp Crisis Hotline pertain to communicable diseases and insect infestations.  The potential for the spread of communicable diseases at camp means that camps must continue to pay diligent attention to communicable disease control strategies.

Top Five Tips for Camps

  1. Partner with parents to reduce the introduction of communicable diseases in camp:  Educate parents and caregivers about their role in illness prevention BEFORE camp begins. This parent flyer provides key messages for parents. 
  2. Establish "opening day" screening processes:  Establish processes that screen campers for communicable diseases when they arrive at camp.  Set a policy that states that the camp retains the right to refuse admission to someone who poses a communicable disease threat.
  3. Establish and implement policies that prevent the spread of disease:  Personal protective practices such as frequent handwashing, remaining hydrated, sleeping with the greatest distance between heads, and effectively covering coughs and sneezes (with an arm or sleeve — NOT a hand) should be included.
  4. Establish policies to keep your staff healthy: Policies and performance evaluations should reinforce how important it is that staff take proper care of themselves, including getting sufficient amounts of rest. 

  5. Regularly evaluate and update your health care practices and procedures: Seek out and use the most-up-to-date information from trusted resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see below).

On April 9, 2015, ACA hosted the Webinar:
The Good, the Bad and the Catchy: Camp Professionals Respond to Communicable Diseases (like Measles)
Purchase a recording of the Webinar.
Access the resources shared:
2015 Emerging Issues - Immunizations, Measles and Communicable Diseases
ACA Crisis Communications Toolkit
Can Employers Require Employees to be Immunized and Who Pays?
Disinfection and Sterilization of Different Surfaces
Handwashing versus Hand-sanitizers?
Partnering with Parents
Recommended Immunization Schedules for Children and Adults
State Labor Laws
States With Religious and Philosophical Exemptions From School Immunization Requirements 
Understanding and Preparing for Mandatory Quarantines

ACA Resources

Association of Camp Nurses Link

Centers for Disease Control Links

Health and Human Services Links