Swimmer’s itch advisory issued

By Theresa Proudfit

Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – Several cases of swimmer’s itch have been reported to the Dickinson-Iron Health Department from swimmers who visited Lake Antoine earlier this week.

Daren Deyaert, environmental health director at the agency, explained that swimmers itch is an allergic reaction and rash to a parasite in the water.

In most cases the swimmer’s itch lasts a few days and does not require medical attention. To reduce the risk of swimmer’s itch after swimming, be sure to dry off thoroughly and shower, Deyaert said.

Swimmer’s itch, or schistosome mercurial dermatitis, is an itchy rash caused by a number of different flatworm parasites. The parasites normally live in freshwater snails and sometimes on waterfowl.

“Dry off as soon as you leave the water, don’t sit around in your wet swimsuit,” health officials advise. “Shower with soap and fresh water as soon as possible after swimming.”

It’s also best to avoid wading in shallow areas with lots of snails.

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