Spokane mother warns of swimmer's itch

With it being so hot out, it’s the perfect time to take a swim. And in the Inland Northwest, the perfect retreat isn’t hard to find. It’s something that Austin Knutson took advantage of last week.

“I went swimming in the Pine River Park,” he says.

But then, the next day, he woke up with bumps and a very itchy rash. He initially thought they were mosquito bites but it just got worse. His mother, Jenn, took him to the doctor who told them that it was a case of swimmer’s itch.

Swimmer’s itch, more formally known as cercarial dermatitis, is a skin rash caused by the larva of a small parasite that exists in water fowl like ducks and geese. It’s not contagious, but Jenn wanted to share their story.

“My biggest concern is I know a lot of people swim down there,” she says. “I wanted to make sure other families are going to the doctor for this.”

So how do you prevent swimmer’s itch? The Spokane Regional Health District says there’s a simple and effective method. Make sure you dry off immediately after getting out of the water. That way the parasites can’t get a chance to burrow in.

For more information: http://srhd.org/documents/WaterRec/SwimmersItch.pdf

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