Two cases of “Swimmers Itch” have cropped up in people that have swum in Lake Jacksonville last week.
The itch is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites in the water, which come from infected birds and snails. The parasites can burrow into the skin, causing an allergic reaction. The Illinois Department of Public Health says anyone who wades or swims in infected water may be at risk. Swimmers itch is not contagious and can’t be spread from person-to-person.
Swimmers can get relief from the rash by using a cortisone cream or anti-itch lotion, applying baking soda or cold compress to the rash, or bathe in Epsom salts, baking soda, or soak in an oatmeal bath.