Swimmer’s Itch

Patrons of the shores of Mille Lacs are reporting more and more cases of swimmer’s itch.

Swimmer’s itch, sometimes confused with “chiggers,” which are found primarily in moist grassy areas, is pestering swimmers once again on Mille Lacs. Officials speculate the warm water causes these parasites to thrive this time of year, causing swimmer’s itch.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, swimmer’s itch is a temporary skin rash that is caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites that are carried by waterfowl, semi-aquatic mammals and snails. As a part of their life cycle, these parasites are released by infected snails into the water, where they may come in contact with people and burrow into their skin.

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