Country 93

Country 93

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Several Cases of Swimmers Itch Reported By Grey Bruce Health Unit

Grey and Bruce | by Cody Misner  

Itch causes rash and those who swim in marshy areas are most likely to be exposed.


Some cases of swimmers itch have been reported to the Grey Bruce health Unit.

Swimmers itch often takes the form of a rash for those who suffer an allergic reaction.

This reaction is due to a parasite commonly found in fresh water snails and water birds taking hold of a human host.

Andrew Barton, Recreational Water and Program Manager for the GBHU says that these infected snails are commonly found in the more marshy, vegetative areas of inland lakes.

When asked about specific locations Barton says that any area that is a good habitat for snails, like marshy areas, poses a risk for these parasites. He also notes that they do not pose a health concern, rather can just invoke allergies.

The health unit says there is no health concerns, "human make poor hosts and the parasite quickly dies, those who have an allergic reaction may experience a rash," Barton says.

Symptoms, according to the health unit, include:

-burning or itching of the skin
- small reddish bumps
- and small blisters

Barton says the best ways to avoid the parasite is to stay clear of the marshy areas of lakes, but that if you do swim there to shower or vigorously towel off immediately after leaving the water.  

Barton also states that bathing in Epsom salts or using calamine lotion will help relieve some of the symptoms.

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