24 Boy Scouts Get Sick At Camp

24 Boy Scouts Get Sick At Camp
YAKIMA COUNTY - A virus may have sickened dozens of Boy Scouts camping east of the Cascades.

Officials had to close Camp Fife in Goose Prairie in Yakima County -- that's near Bumping Lake and Chinook Pass -- after 24 Boy Scouts, aged 11 to 18, came down with what appears to be the Norwalk-like Virus. Many of the Scouts are from the Seattle area.

The virus may sound familiar because it what also sickened passengers on board a Holland America cruise ship last week. They complained of the same symptoms, including cramping, diarrhea and nausea.

More than 200 people got sick on board the cruise ship. It was so bad, Holland America pulled the ship out of rotation for eight days so it could be disinfected.

That's exactly what's happening at Camp Fife. We know the Washington State Health Department has been on scene, and we understand the camp is being scrubbed down and disinfected right now.

The kids who got sick are Scouts with the Grand Columbia Council. About 200 campers in all were at the site and sent home. The incident started with 12 sick campers on Tuesday, and ballooned to 24 cases Thursday. We've learned a few adults are also sick.

"(We had to) take the drastic measure of shutting down the camp," said Bob Dees, one of the Scoutmasters. "Boy Scouts is all about safety and creating a safe haven for kids. (But) yeah, it's disappointing."

This current case has shades of a similar case back in 1998 - which had almost the exact same scenario. Only in that case, it was Camp Brinkley, where dozens of Boy Scouts were sickened and four of them had to be hospitalized.

If all goes as planned the camp may reopen on Sunday.