More than 50 elementary school age kids from the Farmington School District have been stricken with the flu-like norovirus, after attending the YMCA Camp Pepin near Stockholm, Wis.
The camp is currently closed for a top-to-bottom bleach cleaning.
Minnesota Health Department spokesperson Buddy Ferguson says it appears that a child with the norovirus brought it to the camp, where other children subsequently became infected. Wisconsin health officials confirm this account.
As many as 47 children from Akin Road Elementary became sick after visiting the camp Monday through Wednesday. A second group of children from North Trail Elementary arrived on Wednesday, but left early on Thursday after two of their children became sick.
The total number of children that have become ill is now believed to be 53, said Farmington School Superintendent Jay Haugen.
"I got a report from the camp director that some kids got sick in a cluster (Wednesday)," said Mike Melstad, executive director of the Red Wing Family YMCA. He said on Wednesday they, "sanitized the entire place, three times. We have a protocol for this," he said.
Melstad said this is the first time there's been a norovirus outbreak at the YMCA Camp Pepin.
A commercial cleaning crew was back at the camp Friday afternoon for another thorough bleach cleaning.
Norovirus is a highly contagious flu-like condition with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea. The symptoms usually last 48 hours and health officials recommend vigorous and frequent hand washing as a preventive measure.
The Farmington school children were participating in an outdoors program. School officials said they still plan to send another group of school children to the camp on Monday.