With at least 10 summer camps now affected by outbreaks of flu or respiratory illness parents are being urged to keep children home if they show any signs of sickness.

Health officials say 10 Ontario camps have confirmed or suspected outbreaks of mild H1N1, respiratory illness or flu.

Dr. Arlene King, Ont­ario’s chief medical officer, said up to 25 per cent of children at some camps have been affected, which is unusually high.

Parents, she added, can play a major role in control­ling the spread of the virus. “We all have a responsibility to prevent getting infections into the camps,” King said, emphasizing the importance of hand washing.

“Less than 1 per cent of camps have had documented outbreaks, so put that into perspective,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infectious disease prevention for the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion.

He noted there are at least 300 summer camps in the province.

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