Watch out for swimmer’s itch at Sand Hollow

Southern Utah News

HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Swimmer’s itch is active at Sand Hollow State Park, and it could leave an irritating rash if you’re planning on getting in the water.

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According to the Assistant Park Manager Chad Jones, applying waterproof sunscreen can lower your chances of getting it; you can even use petroleum jelly.

After spending some time in the Sand Hollow Reservoir, you may start to feel some tingling, or become itchy, even notice some bumps.

“Essentially, swimmer’s itch is your body’s allergic reaction to a parasite that gets into your body and dies,” says Jones.

It sounds worse than it is, according to Jones, but in severe cases, it could look like this.

“This year, I think it’s a little more active than it was before, because we’ve got very low water, it’s a little warmer, so it got activated a little earlier,” says Jones.

Jones says it’s likely for people to build an antibody after getting it once, because your body can build immunity and lead you to not experience symptoms again.

“It doesn’t effect everybody, statistics show that we have about 7% of the population is actually affected by it,” says Jones.

And children are more likely to get infected, because it’s easier for this parasite to linger along shallow water where kids play.

“To prevent getting itchy after getting out of the water, its wise to shower off right away, towel dry off the best you can,” says Jones.

Jones says it’s not something to be scared of and it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying Sand Hollow State Park.

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