A summer camp field trip momentarily turned into a nightmare for over 70 children last Tuesday, with medical specialists now suspecting a virus behind the sudden sickness.

As you may remember from a previous article (see links box below), a health alert was triggered at the Troisvierges outdoor pool when some 25 children suffered from a sudden discomfort last Tuesday.

As later information revealed, it was not just one but two groups of children that were affected. Apart from the group that spent the day at the outdoor pool, a second big group was kayaking on the Lahn river in Germany. The children from this group, all aged between 11 and 15, fell sick later at night, displaying the same symptoms.

All is well that ends well: the children received immediate medical attention, Luxembourg's health ministry as well as the parents were informed and samples were taken. There are no definite results yet but specialists suspect a gastric flu. According to Dr Pierre Weicherding from Luxembourg's health service, a norovirus seems likely because all the children displayed similar symptoms very rapidly.

It was added that cases like this represent a regular occurrence. 50% of the time, contaminated food or water are the reasons behind the sudden discomfort. In most other cases, a virus is the culprit. The norovirus, for instance, usually spreads very quickly and can even be transmitted through contaminated surfaces and air.

The children and their supervisors are well again and the summer camp activities can continue with a slightly more relaxed programme. Some of the children who were preventively picked up by their parents are also back.