There’s something in the water

Lacey cautions Long Lake goers


Lacey is warning community members to take care when swimming in the waters of Long Lake.

In a Facebook post earlier today, Lacey authorities revealed that it has received two reports of swimmer’s itch in Long Lake.

“The TCPH [Thurston County Public Health] Environmental Health Water Quality division does not test for swimmer’s itch,” said the city on its post. “However, they do require bacterial water quality testing and recent test results have been within acceptable parameters.”

Thurston County warns lake goers to take the following precautions:

  • Shower before you swim, if possible.
  • Do not swim, or allow family members to swim, if currently ill with vomiting or diarrhea, or have been ill within the last two days.
  • Keep children who are not toilet-trained out of the water.
  • Do not allow children with dirty diapers in the water.
  • Do not swim if you have a skin infection.
  • Keep pets off the beach and out of the swimming areas.

Parasites in the water

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) document included in the post explained that cercarial dermatitis, also called swimmer’s itch, happens more during summer months and is caused by parasites that burrow into the skin and cause rashes and allergic reactions.

Symptoms for swimmer’s itch include tingling, burning or itching in the skin; small, reddish pimples; and small blisters within minutes or days of contact with contaminated waters. CDC warns against scratching the affected skin to avoid secondary infection.

According to CDC, the itch does not usually require professional care, but the following can be done for relief:

  • Use corticosteroid cream
  • Apply cool compress to the affected area
  • Bathe in Epson salts or baking soda
  • Soak in colloidal oatmeal baths or use of lotions such as Aveeno
  • Apply baking soda paste (made by stirring baking soda with water until it reaches a paste-like consistency) to the rash
  • Use an anti-tch lotion such as Calamine lotion.

“You can reduce the chances of getting swimmer’s itch by toweling off vigorously immediately after getting out of the water, avoid feeding ducks, and not swimming or wading in marshy areas,” the post said.


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