Ramsey County warns of swimmer’s itch at Lake Johanna

10June 2021

People who swam at Lake Johanna in Arden Hills have reported getting swimmer’s itch.

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation officials said Thursday that they received reports from people who got swimmer’s itch while recently swimming in the lake, which is located within Tony Schmidt Regional Park.

Signs are now posted at the beach, and anyone who swims or wades in the lake is advised to towel off or shower immediately after leaving the water. Shower towers are available for visitors to use at the park.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition is not contagious but can cause tingling, burning or itching of the skin.

The CDC says swimmer’s itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals. The parasites are released from infected snails into fresh and salt water, such as lakes, ponds, and oceans. 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.

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Author: Nick Ferraro

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