The Municipality of Anchorage has confirmed the first case of swimmer’s itch this season at Jewel Lake.
According to a KTVA report, the muni’s aquatic superintendent, Scott O’Brien, says such cases are reported every year at both Jewel Lake and Goose Lake.
Staff quickly put up signs letting people know that schistosomes, the parasitic flatworms which commonly cause the skin rash, are in the water.
*These schistosomes are not the same as the ones that cause schistosomiasis in many parts of the world.
The symptoms of swimmer’s itch may include tingling or itching of the skin, blisters or small pimples. These symptoms typically last about a week and gradually go away.
The following recommendations will help reduce your chance of getting swimmer’s itch:
1. Do not swim in areas where swimmer’s itch is a known problem.
2. Do not swim near or wade in marshy areas where snails are commonly found.
3. Towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water.
4. Do not attract birds (e.g. by feeding them) to areas where people are swimming.
Swimmer’s itch rarely requires medical attention and the itch can be relieved by using Calamine lotion, cool compresses, bathing in Epson salts and the use corticosteroid creams. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page