Flagstaff Camp Closed When Students Develop Tick-Borne Disease

August 12, 2014

Outings at a summer camp owned by the Flagstaff Unified School District were canceled this week after at least five students tested positive for a rare, tick-borne disease.

Officials are attempting to determine how the students attending Camp Colton contracted tick-borne relapsing fever. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the disease is a bacterial infection characterized by fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports Coconino County’s Chief Health Officer Marie People said the illness can be easily treated with anti-biotics. The CDC said the fever is usually linked to sleeping in rustic, rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas.

A District spokeswoman said the camp’s buildings were professionally cleaned and treated, and that the camp will not reopen until an investigation by health officials is completed. The school district has owned the camp for almost 40 years.