Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Lake Mead swimmers’ rash linked to parasites in waterfowl

Boulder Beach

Lake Mead National Recreation Area authorities said nine people have developed rashes at Boulder Beach caused from parasites carried by waterfowl.

Officials said the parasites were the result of a larger-than-normal population of birds staying on the shoreline, resulting in the common “swimmer’s itch” rash for some.

The rash is caused when parasites carried in the bird’s feces come in contact with human skin, park officials said. The parasite causes a rash, but it can’t survive on human skin and quickly dies. Officials said most rashes don’t require medical attention, and they suggest towel drying after a swim and using anti-itch lotion or cortizone cream on inflamed areas.

Rangers have not closed the beaches but are conducting water-quality tests and are monitoring the shoreline, park officials said.

For more information on swimmer’s itch, visit the federal Centers for Disease Control website.

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