One of the great benefits of the Camp Gray experience is the opportunity to grow, play, and have fun in the great outdoors. There are, however, other little creatures that enjoy growing, playing, and having fun in the wilderness with us, including ticks. Here at Camp Gray, we teach your camper to do a tick check every night before they go to bed (if a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme Disease is extremely small). This is the most effective form of disease prevention, but sometimes the little buggers can slide by even the well-trained tick-spotting eye.
Frequency of Lyme Disease
In 2020 there were 3,076 reported cases of Lyme Disease in the state of Wisconsin. Every year we handle a handful of cases at Camp Gray between staff and campers.
What exactly is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is an illness that may affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other areas of the body. It is caused by a bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected deer tick.
What if I find a tick on my camper?
Remove the tick as soon as possible. If it is a deer tick, you might want to save it to take to the doctor if you do start to develop the common signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. Follow this simple process to remove the tick:
Use tweezers to grasp the tick close to its mouth
G-E-N-T-L-Y and S-L-O-W-L-Y pull the tick upward and outward
Apply an antiseptic to the bite
Do not burn it off, use petroleum jelly, or try to drown it
How can I learn more?
You can learn more by going to the CDC website dedicated to Lyme Disease found here. The Camp Gray staff are also happy to help. Give us a call (608.356.8200) and we can answer most questions.
Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease
One of the challenges in diagnosing Lyme Disease is that it shares many symptoms with the flu or a cold. It can also lay dormant in the body’s system for over two years. The following is a list of general signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. Please note that not every infected person will exhibit all of the symptoms.
Skin rash: may have a “bull’s eye” pattern
Fever and chills
Muscle and joint pain
What do I do if I suspect my camper may have Lyme Disease?
Go to your doctor. There is a simple blood test that can be done. Make sure you tell your doctor that your camper has been at summer camp and was at a higher risk than the average person. If the test results are positive, antibiotics can effectively treat Lyme Disease, especially when treated in the early stages.
Camp Gray invites people of all ages to encounter Jesus Christ in all creation, experience a fun and vibrant Catholic community, and be challenged to ever more deeply know, love, and serve God and neighbor.