Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Swimmer’s itch is a skin irritation you can get from wading, swimming, or floating in water that contains small parasites called blood flukes. These parasites infest various birds and small animals and may be present the water. Symptoms of swimmer’s itch include an itching or stinging sensation during first contact with the skin that may last for about an hour. A skin eruption similar to an insect bite with a reddish rash may also appear. In sensitive people, intense itching and small blisters may appear. Symptoms usually lessen after a week. If you get symptoms of swimmer’s itch, over-the-counter treatments may provide relief from itching. Call your doctor if symptoms persist
To Avoid Swimmer’s Itch:
Many Northern California waterways are part of a vast hydropower system, with dams located upstream and downstream of the most popular recreational areas. During certain times of the year, sudden changes can occur in water levels and river flows. Heavy rains, melting snow or electric generator use can change a waterway from a slow stream to a raging river in minutes. PG&E offers the following tips to protect yourself and your family in these areas:
Additional water safety tips can be found here.
State of California- Blue Green Algae and Harmful Algal Blooms Monitoring Program- https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/index.html
State of California- Report Harmful Algal Blooms here: https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/index.html
Leeches- Leech Question and Answers Sheet (PDF)