FILE PHOTO – Mantua Lake in Box Elder County

An irritating, though harmless rash caused by an allergic reaction to small parasites has been reported at both Mantua Reservoir and what is called ”The Pond” north of the Willard Bay north marina.

Swimmer’s Itch is caused by the parasites most often found during the summer in the shallow water of lakes and ponds.

Also called cercarial dermatitis, with swimmer’s itch the parasite’s preferred host is a specific bird or mammal, but if it comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash.

Swimming Pool Program Lead at the Bear River Health Department, Ben Harker, said first reports of the rash among swimmers surfaced last week.

“Signs had been posted at Mantua about Swimmer’s Itch and we posted something on our website last Friday, just to alert the public,” Harker says. “Willard Bay reached out to us reporting swimmers at The Pond had complained about it and were asking about proper protocols to deal with the condition.”

Harker said most cases of Swimmer’s Itch do no require medical attention.

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