Virus outbreak sickens Cub Scouts at Camp Gerber

Blue Lake Twp. camp closes after 20-30 sickened with suspected norovirus

Norovirus transmission electron microscopy
This undated Negative-stain Transmission Electron Microscopy image, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA, shows a Norovirus, also known as the Norwalk Virus.. (AP Photo/F.P. Williams, U.S. EPA)

BLUE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon County camp has voluntarily shut down after an outbreak sickened 20 to 30 children and staff.

Camp Gerber Scout Reservation in Blue Lake Township was hosting a Cub Scout day camp when some participants started complaining of gastrointestinal issues on Wednesday.

Based on symptoms and the quick onset and recovery, the Muskegon County Public Health Department suspects the illness is norovirus.  The virus is relatively common in close quarters like schools, dorms, jails and campgrounds.

>>PDF: Facts about norovirus

Spokesperson Dori Peters said the Muskegon County Public Health Department sent a team to the camp Thursday to educate employees on how to further curb the outbreak.

In a post to Facebook, Camp Gerber said it temporarily suspended operations Thursday “out of an abundance of caution” while they disinfect the property and check the health of staff.

It’s unclear when the camp will reopen.

Peters told 24 Hour News 8 it’s unlikely staff and campers will be tested for norovirus because of the virus’ short lifespan, which is usually 48 hours.

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