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July 12, 2017

Public Notice:  SWIMMER'S ITCH

Please be advised that swimmer's itch has been reported at Battlefords Provincial Park Beach, Hunt's Cove and Cochin Public beaches.

What causes Swimmer's Itch?

Swimmer's Itch is caused by the larvae of tiny parasites called schistosomes (shiss-toe-soams). The larvae can get under the swimmer's skin and cause an allergic reaction, when the larvae is found in open waters such as lakes and ponds.

Symptoms:

  • Tingling, burning, or itching of the skin
  • Small reddish pimples or small blisters
  • A rash that usually goes away in about a week

Prevention:

People can reduce the chances of contracting Swimmer's Itch by:

  • Avoiding areas near dense aquatic vegetation that attracts snails
  • Toweling down briskly or showering immediately after leaving the water
  • Avoid swimming in waters where swimmers itch is known to be a problem

Treatment:

  • A soda bath (using approximately 50 ml of baking soda in a shallow bath)
  • Antihistamines or an anti-itch lotion can help reduce the itch.

Swimmer's itch typically clears up on its own within a few days to a week, however, see your health care provider if the problem persists.

For More Information:
Please contact Prairie North Health Region at 1-888-298-0202.

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