Swimming, saddles and hopefully no H1N1

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - We're still targeting the H1N1 virus. During the summer, sights are set on tire swings, and swimming' holes. Now, add H1N1 to that list. Summer camp must go on, but no one's taking any chances.

It was all splish-splash and saddles for campers at Rockin 'C' Ranch.

"We have campers that come from Shreveport. We have campers that come from Tennessee and Oklahoma...from the Dallas metroplex," said Jason Albright, program director for Rockin 'C' Ranch. "Their health and safety is issue number one for us."

It was the third week of camp and, so far, no sick kids.

"We've been real blessed," said Albright.

The same could not be said for a group of Georgia scouts. The boys were exposed to H1N1 during a week long camp in North Carolina. Eight tested positive. The World Health Organization raised it's flu pandemic alert level to phase 6. More than 50,000 H1N1 cases have been confirmed across the globe. More than 20,000 in the U.S. One here in Smith county. Albright says if one of his kids does get sick, they have a plan.

"Quarantine the camper. Quarantine the cabin. Let the parents of the children that were at camp that week know, 'Hey, we have this,'" he explained. "Keep an eye on your camper."

George Roberts with the Northeast Texas Public Health District says it's standard and necessary protocol.

"It's like any other situation," said Roberts. "We just need to be proactive."

He says area camps, like Rockin 'C' Ranch are still safe and have responded well to the issue. He says it still comes down to three very simple steps.

"If you're sick, stay at home, cover your coughs and wash your hands," he said.

"A child is a parent's most prized possession," said Albright, "And it is our responsibility to be sure that we get them back safe and healthy."

Just a little more tan and maybe a little saddle sore.

Public health officials say the H1N1 virus has been shown to impact more young people. Fortunately, local H1N1 cases have been very low.

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