Valley Springs, CA — Warning signs are being posted at New Hogan Lake about the seasonal recurrence of swimmer’s itch. Two visitors to the lake recently reported the condition.
Acting parking manager at New Hogan Lake, Dan Benedetti, says “We want our visitors to be aware of this nuisance so they can avoid it and enjoy their time at New Hogan Lake.”
Children are most often affected because they tend to swim, wade and play in the shallow water more than adults. Visitors to New Hogan are encouraged to avoid swimming in areas where warning signs are posted, towel dry and shower immediately after swimming and avoid feeding birds, which contribute to the incidence of swimmer’s itch.
New Hogan staff have consulted with the Calaveras County Environmental Health Department. The Centers for Disease Control states “Swimmer’s itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals, while the parasite’s preferred host is the specific bird or mammal, if the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer’s itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months,” More information is on the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html.
CDC guidance states that symptoms of swimmer’s itch may include tingling, burning, or itching of the skin; small reddish pimples; and small blisters.