Norovirus caused illness to summer campers in Central Florida

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jun 25, 2018

LAKE PLACID, Fla. — Officials say that norovirus is what caused 33 children to fall ill at a summer camp in Lake Placid last week. 

Norovirus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in closed environments like summer camp.

“Our epidemiology team has notified health departments in the home counties of all campers, and appropriate follow-up will be done,” said Mary Kay Burns, Highlands County Health Officer. “Camp officials have already started the process of disinfecting the camp, and re-inspection will be done once cleaning has been completed. We will also provide information on proper hand-washing and food preparation techniques, to help avoid further incidents.” 

Water tests were done and came back negative for any illness-causing bacteria.

Officials say that over the course of two days, campers began falling ill with reports of nausea, vomiting, headaches and fever. The illnesses manifesting in a 911 call on Thursday evening.

Highlands County Fire Rescue and EMS responded to 4-H Camp Cloverleaf in Lake Placid around 8 p.m. Thursday.

The campers are between the ages of 8 and 13. Camp officials say that 33 of the 120 campers reportedly fell ill.

Fire officials say that children from Charlotte, Desoto, Sarasota, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami Dade Counties are attending the camp. Additional children are being evaluated.