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Swimmer's itch detected at Hay River Territorial Park beach

N.W.T. Parks is warning people about swimmer's itch at Hay River Territorial Park beach. The condition — also called cercarial dermatitis — comes from contact with a water parasite, and causes skin irritation.

Condition comes from contact with a water parasite, and causes skin irritation

Kids on the beach at Hay River Territorial Park. N.W.T. Parks is warning about swimmer's itch at the beach this summer. (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

N.W.T. Parks is warning people about swimmer's itch suspected at Hay River Territorial Park beach.

N.W.T. Parks issued a caution that  the parasites have recently been reported at the beach. The condition — also called cercarial dermatitis — comes from contact with a water parasite, and causes skin irritation.

Itching typically begins 10 to 30 minutes after exposure, and can last a few days to a week, the statement said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms may include tingling, burning or itching skin; small reddish pimples; and small blisters.

To prevent swimmer's itch:

  • Avoid swimming in the water.
  • Avoid spending extended periods of time in the water.
  • Wash and briskly rub the skin with a cloth immediately after leaving the water. 
  • Dry off and don't leave drops of water on your skin.

The statement said that people who suspect they have swimmer's itch can call their local health centre.

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