Visitors to Willard Bay State Park warned about swimmer’s itch

Photo Courtesy: Willard Bay State Park

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah, June 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Visitors to Willard Bay State Park in Box Elder County are being warned about swimmer’s itch.

“Swimmer’s itch is an irritating, yet harmless rash caused by the human body’s allergic reaction to a free-swimming microscopic parasite (cercarial) found in shallow water,” said a Facebook post from the park. “It is found throughout the world and is more common during the summer months.”

The park has received reports of visitors impacted by the itch who visited ‘The Pond,’ an 11-acre body of water just north of the original Willard Bay. The Pond is not connected to the rest of the bay’s body of water, the post said.

“Anyone who swims or wades in infested water is at risk of getting swimmer’s itch,” the post said. “However, the larvae are more likely to be in shallow water by the shoreline.
Children are most often infected because they tend to play in shallow water more than adults. Many of those impacted by the itch build an antibody after one reaction and do not experience symptoms again.”

The post said it is recommended that visitors to The Pond use the outdoor showers available.

Learn more about swimmer’s itch on the Utah Department of Health’s website here.


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