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Dozens sick of possible norovirus: ‘If a kid coughed, people would scoot away’

GIG HARBOR — Dozens of YMCA campers and staff at the Y’s Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor have come down with symptoms of possible norovirus, and the camp was closed Thursday as a result.

camps_seymore_sign“One of the kids was getting sick and on the way to the medical hut he threw up on the path,” said Daniel Tuilosky, 13, who noticed another camper vomiting a little later. “I was getting kind of paranoid that I was going to get sick, and if a kid coughed, people would scoot away a little bit.”

Edie Jeffers with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department said about 66 campers and 14 staff members developed flu-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.  The first illnesses were reported on Tuesday, the day after the weeklong camp opened.

By Thursday morning the numbers had rapidly grown.  Jeffers said the rapid increase in illnesses and the symptoms indicate a possible exposure to norovirus.

“When you’re talking about many people in a kind of small area, this does have the ability to spread very quickly,” said Jeffers.

Renee Quinn with the Pierce County – Kitsap YMCA said that parents of the campers were contacted to pick up with kids Thursday.

The camp is being cleaned and sanitized. The Health Department will then inspect it, and it could reopen as soon as Sunday

Marion Miller, a grandmother to one of the campesr, is taking it all in stride.

“It’s kind of like the cruise ships, you know, once in a while something like this happens.”

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