Flagstaff's Camp Colton closed due to rare tick-borne disease

O. hermsi tick

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

O. hermsi tick before and after feeding. (Photo taken by Gary Hettrick RML, NIAID.)


by The Associated Press


Posted on August 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 14 at 9:59 AM

FLASTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- A Flagstaff Unified School District summer camp was canceled this week because at least five students tested positive for a rare tick-borne disease.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that officials are trying to determine how the students attending Camp Colton contracted tick-borne relapsing fever.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the fever is a bacterial infection characterized by fever, headache, muscle and joint aches and nausea.

Coconino County Chief Health Officer Marie Peoples says the illness is easily treated with antibiotics.

According to the CDC, the fever is usually linked to sleeping in rustic, rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas.

FUSD spokeswoman Karin Eberhard said the camp's buildings were professional cleaned and treated.

She says the camp will not reopen until health officials' investigation finishes.

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