Teen faith camp became superspreader event in wisconsin, CDC reports

One boy unknowingly infected with virus thought to have led to over 100 infections

Louise Hall
Saturday 31 October 2020 00:41
Comments
Donald Trump Jr says 1000 Covid deaths a day 'almost nothing'

A Wisconsin faith-based teenage summer camp may have functioned as a coronavirus superspreader event leading to 116 cases of the virus likely from just one person, a Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report has said.

The report, released on Thursday, showed that an outbreak at a high-school retreat between 2 July and 11 August led to Covid-19 diagnoses for nearly 80 per cent of the camp's attendees.

The boy who unknowingly likely caused the outbreak had tested negative for the virus before arriving at the camp. The camper later learned that a family member received a positive test result approximately one week after his departure to the retreat.

After a small group of children who were in close contact with the boy became sick or tested positive the state health officials tested nearly all 152 attendees at the camp on 28 July, The Milwaukee Journal first reported.

According to the CDC, at least one confirmed case was found in every dormitory room and yurt over the course of the outbreak.

The agency said that the outbreak shows that "mitigation plans that include prearrival quarantine and testing, cohorting, symptom monitoring, early identification and isolation of cases, mask use, enhanced hygiene and disinfection practices, and maximal outdoor programming are necessary to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks in these settings.”

All of the outbreak-related illnesses were mild to moderate, none of the cases required hospitalisation and no deaths occurred, the CDC said.

“Covid-19 spreads like wildfire when you bring a lot of people together in a relatively small space,” Julie Willems Van Dijk, Wisconsin’s deputy health services secretary, told The Journal.

“If there was one person who was ill with Covid-19, they easily spread that to everyone in their housing unit 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.”

She added: "That's how it would go to one person to over 100 people in a very short period of time.”

The overnight summer school retreat included high school-aged boys, counsellors, and staff members from 21 states and territories and two foreign countries.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in