GSWPA Takes H1N1 Influenza Precautions

Jun 29, 2009 Posted in Newsroom, Press Releases

As Girl Scout camp programs are in full gear, questions regarding H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) can be expected to increase. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) is monitoring the situation closely and taking appropriate steps based on guidelines established by the local health department and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The safety of girls is the top priority of the council. GSWPA is taking the necessary steps to ensure camper’s health and welfare.

  • GSWPA’s camps have taken a proactive stance on all communicable illnesses. GSWPA asks that campers and staff arrive in good health and are capable of full program participation.
  • GSWPA’s screening process on opening day of camp helps identify potential illness. GSWPA has modified the screening process to increase precautions and everyone will be asked, "In the past week have you had a fever, cough or sore throat?" If the answer is yes, the person will be further assessed. If signs and symptoms of illness are present, the person will not be permitted to stay at camp.
  • Healthy behavior will be encouraged while camp is being conducted. Extra hand washing will be emphasized and staff and campers will be instructed to cover their mouths if coughing or sneezing and to maintain a safe distance from others.
  • Staff and campers will be monitored to ensure that they are well rested, nourished and hydrated.

GSWPA recognizes that H1N1 is contagious for 24 hours before people have symptoms. While the potential of exposure can be minimized, protection cannot be guaranteed. Parents who have children that are at greater risk for complications associated with influenza-like illness, should talk to their child's physician and make the decision about camp that is in the best interest of the child.

GSWPA is encouraging parents to talk with their girls about simple steps they can take to stay healthy during this flu season, including:

* Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
* Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
* Stay home if sick. TheCDC recommends staying home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

GSWPA asks volunteers to keep the office abreast if they notice decreased attendance from activities due to the flu and to take appropriate actions if necessary.

GSWPA encourages all of our members to stay tuned to the situation as it continues to evolve and to utilize the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov for the latest information.

If you have any questions, please contact Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania’sGSUSA consultant at 1-800-GSUSA- 4U. For after-hour emergencies, please utilize 1-800-568-8767 for a live operator.

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