Research from the CDC details how the new coronavirus ripped through a Georgia summer camp infecting 260 attendees in a matter of days.
The account, released Friday, comes as school districts nationally agonize over balancing the threat of an infectious disease and myriad collateral damage in keeping children from schoolrooms.
“This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to [the coronavirus] and, contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission,” researchers wrote.
On June 21, more than 360 campers arrived for a scheduled one-week sleepaway stay. While camp staff took some preventative steps, they did not require campers wear masks despite regular singing and cheering. They also did not open doors and windows to increase ventilation.
Two days later, a staff member began experiencing chills. When the positive test result came back the next day, staff started sending campers home, but it was too late.
Of 344 test results analyzed, 76% came back positive. The median age for camper case was 12. The median age for a staffer was 17.
About 26% of patients were asymptomatic. Most experienced fever, headaches and sore throats, of 136 cases with symptom data available.