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Parasites cause Swimmers ItchSubmitted: 07/10/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Parasites cause Swimmers Itch
Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - Swimming in the lake might be an easy way to cool off in the Northwoods.

But once you get out, make sure you're not taking parasites with you!

Parasites cause swimmers itch. Birds and snails can carry the parasite.

Symptoms for the itch are small blisters, pimples and itching of the skin.

Although there have been no reports of swimmers itch here, Public Health Nurse Rob Deede says you can prevent it.


"We encourage those people again to towel off immediately after getting out of the water," said Deede.

"Avoid swimming in some areas where you might see a large amount of snails on the shore line or where you can actively see matter in the water."

Swimmers itch can last up to seven days.

The best way to treat it is to buy an anti-itch cream.

"There's actually no treatment for… no recommended antibiotics or anything like that for swimmers itch," Deede said.

"Some people will use anti-itch creams or antihistamine to stop the itching."

Swimmers itch is not contagious or life threatening.


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