Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer

Division of Environmental Health

PRESS RELEASE

Date Released: 9/10/2013
Subject: Take precautions against swimmer’s itch
Contact: Heather Shelton
Phone: 441-5547

With the continuing warmer temperatures, officials with Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would like to remind people that swimmer’s itch is a common hazard during the warm summer months in some of the lakes and slow-moving streams in Humboldt County.

Swimmer’s itch occurs when a small parasite burrows under the skin of bathers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person may experience symptoms within minutes to days after swimming in affected water. Symptoms, which include tingling skin, moderate to severe itching and small bumps or blisters, usually subside on their own after a week or more.

To reduce the likelihood of developing swimmer’s itch, the CDC urges people not to swim in areas where swimmer’s itch is a known problem or where signs have been posted warning of unsafe water and to towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water. This will help remove the parasites before they burrow into the skin.

For more information, call DHHS’ Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or 1-800-963-9241 or visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/. If you have questions about treatment, call your doctor.

 

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