Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boy Scout Camp: Part 2

Sorry to leave you hanging on the edge of your seat. The last think I said about our trip to Colorado was that I took six boys to the ER on Sunday night.

I will avoid going into detail about how one boy threw up in a plastic bag, and how the sound of it made another follow suit, or about how his bag was about to burst and we had to put his used bag into another larger bag - while the van was moving - and how I had to hold his used bag between my legs because the winding road had no shoulder and we couldn't pull over...

I went from room to room checking on the boys. One was so dehydrated they couldn't get an IV into his veins; they kept collapsing. Most of them soiled their clothes at some point during the night, and a few had to use the showers. They all ran low grade fevers.

I slept in a chair in the lobby the last hour before dawn, when two fresh leaders arrived from the campsite to give us a rest. When the boys were finally released they all walked slowly out to the van dressed hospital scrubs, gowns, or pajamas scrounged up by the nurses. They carried red plastic bags with "biohazard" markings with their dirty clothes inside. It was actually kinda cute and pathetic at the same time.

They were sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic, under the assumption that it was a bacterial infection resulting from contaminated food. This turned out to be wrong, but we didn't find out for two more days...

Meanwhile, the boys who didn't get sick went on about their scouting business. David, who has been growing his hair long and curly over the summer, continued to feel fine.

Thursday we were going to let the boys do some repelling on the rocks, and Friday morning there was going to be the "Blue Mountain Hike" up this mountain before dawn. But neither of those things happened, because Wednesday the results of the culture came back from the hospital: the diagnosis was Norovirus, a highly contagious, food-borne viral infection. This is the one that infects cruise ships from time to time.

Wednesday morning also saw the virus spreading to other parts of camp: some of the staff, boys from other troops, and one of our own adults. Then the Colorado Health Department shut down the camp and sent everybody home! I couldn't believe it!

I don't disagree that it was warranted; I just find it hard to believe that I was actually there at with "patient zero". Two days of driving, followed by three days of camping, followed by two days of driving. Oh well.

I'm going to eat dinner at a salad bar and then go read "The Andromeda Strain". Goodnight my blogospheric friends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, PT- vomit is becoming a popular topic on your blog this summer.