Itching on the North Shore - Swimmers Itch In Lake Sarah
submitted by Terry Wise
John and Terry Wise discovered swimmer’s itch the hard way by helping a neighbor with their dock and developing big itchy welts all over their body.It became apparent that the swimmer’s itch was all along North Shore Drive at least from the old access east 5 houses.This is a situation with a parasite that completes its life cycle by hitch-hiking on fowl then making a mistake and hitching to humans.Good news humans cannot help them complete their life cycle but as they try your body rejects them, you get an allergic reaction (big red welts) (we accused the mosquito’s first) and the areas affected itch.
This swimmers itch affects only a portion of the population 1/3 to ½ who get exposed.So since we and others over here on North Shore are not enjoying the awful itching here are some prevention suggestions that do not require a permit to treat.
Don't feed geese, ducks, or pelicans. Waterfowl are an important adult host for the parasites.
Keep your beach as clean as possible with dead weeds.
Don't wade or play in shallow water. Swimming from a raft or pontoon minimizes your exposure Dry off as soon as you leave the water.
Rub skin briskly to remove water drops before they evaporate. Be sure to dry underneath waistbands and around leg openings. Encourage children to dry off thoroughly each time they leave the water.
Consider taking off your swim suit each time you leave the lake.
Shower with soap and fresh water or change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
Some people recommend that you put a lot of suntan lotion on before entering the water.
If it is real serious contact your doctor they may give an antihistamine or Benadryl.Usual treatment is application of anti-itch lotions like calamine, baking soda baths, or baking soda compresses (remember mother doing this).The itch will end in a day or two and the welts disappear in a week.
LAKE TREATMENT REQUIRES A PERMITCOST IS $4.00 FOR 100 FEET OF LAKE SHORE.YOU MUST ALSO PURCHASE COPPER SULFATE.