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Utah park warns of visitors experiencing 'Swimmer's Itch'

DNR Swimmer's Itch.jpg
Posted at 8:33 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 10:33:55-04

WILLARD, Utah — A Utah state park is reporting some visitors have been affected with an allergic reaction known as "Swimmer's Itch."

In a post to Facebook, Willard Bay State Park in Box Elder County said swimmers who had been wading in an area of the park called The Pond experienced the condition, which is a relatively harmless rash caused by microscopic parasites found in shallow water.

Swimmer's Itch is most commonly found in the warm summer months. According to the Utah Department of Health, the condition is caused when "parasites burrow into the nearby swimmer's skin, causing an allergic reaction and rash."

Park officials say The Pond, which opened earlier this year, is not connected to the Willard Bay Reservoir and is recommending people use the free showers that are available to visitors.

"Anyone who swims or wades in infested water is at risk of getting swimmers itch. However, the larvae are more likely to be in shallow water by the shoreline," the post read.

The park added that children are most often affected by Swimmer's Itch because they swim in shallow water, but that those that get the condition usually build an antibody after one reaction.