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Summer camps reel from swine-flu increase

Summer camps in Switzerland are proving to be fertile areas for influenza A/H1N1, with more than 130 people either sick or exposed to swine flu in four cantons.

This content was published on July 17, 2009 - 12:30

At an international institute in Verbier, where students aged 8-18 come from all over the globe for three weeks of sports in the Alps, officials said more than 40 youths and ten camp leaders had become ill in recent days. Last week there were 14 people ill at the camp.

"The state of their health is good," authorities in canton Valais wrote in a statement on Friday, adding that the situation is "entirely under control". Another 70 people at the institute had been treated preemptively and were doing well. Some had already returned to their home countries.

In eastern canton Vaud, one case of swine flu has been detected at a summer camp that welcomes 80 youths aged 9-19 years old. So far eight children there were suffering from flu-like symptoms. They have been placed in isolation and are receiving treatment.

At a camp in Schönried in the Bernese Oberland, at least two students have tested positive for the virus. Another four students have flu-like symptoms and are being tested. All six are in isolation and receiving treatment while other camp members are taking anti-viral medication prophylactically.

Earlier in the week summer camps in Geneva for reported five confirmed cases of swine flu with another six suspected cases.

The number of swine flu cases continues to climb in Switzerland, where 184 cases have now been recorded, the Federal Health Office said. Another 84 cases are being investigated as possible A/H1N1 infections.

The World Health Organization has warned of a swine flu pandemic that could affect as much as one-quarter of the workforce by the end of the year. Health officials are expecting a sharp increase in infections after the summer holidays.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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