Corps offers tips on avoiding and treating swimmer’s itch

Published June 3, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 3, 2013) – Warning signs are being posted at New Hogan Lake with a seasonal recurrence of swimmer’s itch reported by two visitors to the lake today.

New Hogan staff have consulted with the Calaveras County Environmental Health Department, which advises visitors to heed the following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

“Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals,” according to the Centers for Disease Control website at

“While the parasite's preferred host is the specific bird or mammal, if the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer's itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months,” the CDC notes.
CDC guidance states that symptoms of swimmer's itch may include tingling, burning, or itching of the skin; small reddish pimples; and small blisters.

Children are most often affected because they tend to swim, wade and play in the shallow water more than adults. Visitors to New Hogan are encouraged to avoid swimming in areas where warning signs are posted, towel dry and shower immediately after swimming and avoid feeding birds, which contribute to the incidence of swimmer’s itch.

“With two reports of this rash coming to us today and recreation season ramping up, we are posting warning signs to alert our visitors,” said Dan Benedetti, acting parking manager at New Hogan Lake. “We want our visitors to be aware of this nuisance so they can avoid it and enjoy their time at New Hogan Lake.”

Robert Kidd

Release no. 13-037