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Give more attention to Lyme disease

In this photo released by the Centers for

In this photo released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pathognomonic erythematous rash in the pattern of a bull's-eye, which manifested at the site of a tick bite on this Maryland woman's posterior right upper arm, who'd subsequently contracted Lyme disease. Credit: AP, 2007

Give more attention to Lyme disease

Lyme disease is becoming more widespread, with an estimated 300,000 new cases a year in the United States. This makes it more prevalent than breast cancer or HIV.

However, Lyme disease receives less attention and significantly less funding than these other diseases. Why do so many people suffer for years with Lyme before receiving a proper diagnosis? Why do doctors fail to inform patients that a negative test result does not necessarily rule out Lyme disease?

Despite popular belief, not everyone infected with Lyme will present with the telltale bullseye rash or even recall a tick bite. The standard tests are unreliable. This leaves many Lyme patients undiagnosed, untreated and at risk of developing a complex, chronic illness that is much more difficult to treat than an early infection. Symptoms may include flu-like illness, fever, headache and extreme fatigue.

It’s hard to find doctors who treat chronic Lyme, and many don’t take insurance.

This is a terrible injustice. We need more than just talk about prevention; we need better training for doctors, more accurate testing and updated guidelines for diagnosis and treatment.

Alanna Falco, Deer Park

Camp counselors learn valuable work lessons

I’m always surprised when I speak with parents of high school- and college-aged young adults about the opportunities they hope their children will secure for the summer. Many would like their children to get internships or office jobs to help them succeed in future employment.

Any future employer who has worked at a summer camp knows that camp counselors also gain important skills that today’s employers seek.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a group of businesses, education leaders and policymakers, found there is a gap in the information students gain in school and the skills they need to succeed. Many of these essential skills are fostered at camp, including oral communication, collaboration, work ethic, creativity, leadership, social skills, problem solving and critical thinking.

Camp counselors experience responsibility by leading children and making sure their needs are met. Counselors also communicate about schedules and programs with the camp directors and peers.

For a generation accustomed to texting every thought, counselors actually have to interact face to face, which hones their communication skills.

Susie Lupert, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is the executive director of the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey, which promotes summer camp experiences.