Editor’s Note: WOWK 13 News was originally told this event was not a Girl Scouts event, but was an event run by volunteers at the Girl Scouts-owned Camp Molly Lauman. The Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland tells WOWK Camporee was a “Girl Scouts Event run by volunteers.” This article has been updated to reflect that information.

UPDATE: (5:36 P.M. Wednesday, May 18, 2022): The Scioto County Health Department says according to the Regional Epidemiologist Norovirus is the suspected cause of an illness that affected more than 100 of the 155 people attending Camporee this past weekend.

The health department says this is the suspected cause of the outbreak, it has not been confirmed at this time.

The Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland has released the following statement in connection to the illness connected to Camporee.

On Monday, we were made aware of a number of adults and girls becoming ill after attending an event at Camp Molly Lauman this past weekend.

Because the health and safety of our visitors is of the utmost importance, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland has been working with representatives from the Scioto County Health Department, Portsmouth City Health Department and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) on testing and determining the root cause of the illnesses. We expect test results by tomorrow and hope these results will provide a definitive answer for us and our camp guests. 

We notified all participants who attended the weekend event of the incident Monday afternoon and continue to provide updates as new information is available.

The Portsmouth City Health Department is encouraging those who are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, headache or chills, to please contact the Scioto County Health Department to assist in tracking and identifying a cause of the illness. Please contact Molly Dargavell, BS, Regional Epidemiologist for Scioto County, Portsmouth City, Lawrence County at (740) 354-8931 or by email at Molly.Dargavell@portsmouthoh.org.

Additionally, we are in contact with the health department for guidance on preventative measures and determining the status of upcoming events so that we can protect future visitors.

We are grateful for the expertise and assistance received from our partners and we will continue to update our staff and volunteers. We appreciate the heartfelt concern and assistance in finding answers to the root cause of this situation. 

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland

SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — The Scioto County Health Department says more testing is ongoing to locate the source of an illness that broke out in connection to Camporee this past weekend.

The department issued a warning on Tuesday, May 17, for anyone who attended the Camporee at Camp Molly Lauman in Lucasville, Ohio, from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15. The camp is owned by the Girl Scouts. According to the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland, the event was a Girl Scout event run by volunteers.

Officials say of the 155 attendees, approximately 100 are reporting showing symptoms of illness. The campers included families and those at the camp ranged in ages from toddlers to adults, according to the SCHD. The SCHD says they have received five calls regarding the illness, and first learned of the issue from a caller and a Facebook message warning them that people who attended Camporee were becoming ill.

According to Melissa Spears, administrator for the SCHD, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has tested the tap/public drinking water, and the results showed that there were no issues and that the water met state standards. She says more tests have been conducted on other water sources, and they are still awaiting the results of those tests.

Spears also says food has been ruled out as a possible source of the illness, and that several of those who are showing symptoms of illness brought their own food and did not eat what was provided by the camp.

Health officials have also not identified the illness itself, according to Spears and says health care providers are running testing to find common symptoms among patients. The SCHD says attendees or their family members who experience vomiting, diarrhea, headaches or chills should seek medical attention, and may have to undergo fecal and vomit testing.

Spears says the State Girl Scouts office is receiving several calls from those who have become ill and is helping with the investigation. Those who attended are also asked to contact Regional Epidemiologist Molly Dargavell at (740) 354-8931 or her email.

At this time, the SCHD is urging people to follow some guidelines to prevent potential spread of the illness. This includes:

  • Use proper hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers and before eating, preparing or handling food.
  • Clean and disinfect any potentially contaminated surfaces, especially if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. Health experts say to use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1000-5000 ppm (or 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25%] per gallon of water) or other EPA approved disinfectant.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly to remove any possible contamination.
  • Do not care for others if you are sick
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well and cook any seafood thoroughly and keep those who are sick out of areas where food is being prepared.

This is a developing story and we will provide more information as it becomes available.