From the McHenry County Health Department:
Health officials issue contamination advisory at Crystal Lake beach
McHENRY COUNTY — The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) has received recent reports of swimmer’s itch from Lake Park Beach (Crystal Lake Main Beach), 300 Lakeshore Drive in Crystal Lake.
The MCDH and Crystal Lake Park District are monitoring for additional complaints. A Swimmer’s Advisory has been posted at the beach.
Swimmer’s itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals.
These parasites are released from infected snails into the water.
If the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash.
Swimmer’s itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months.
Swimmer’s itch is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another.
Anyone who swims or wades in infested water may be at risk.
Larvae are more likely to be present in shallow water by the shoreline.
Children are most often affected because they tend to swim, wade, and play in the shallow water more than adults.
To reduce the likelihood of developing swimmer’s itch, towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water.
If you experience symptoms of swimmers itch please contact the MCDH by calling at (815) 334-4585 or the beach operator. This advisory will remain posted until such time no additional complaints are received for a minimum of 10 days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following if you have swimmer’s rash and want relief
- Use corticosteroid cream
- Apply cool compresses to the affected areas
- Bathe in Epsom salts or baking soda
- Soak in colloidal oatmeal bath
- Apply baking soda paste to the rash
- Use an anti-itch lotion
For more information about public beach advisories and closures in McHenry County, please visit http://bit.ly/MCDHBeaches.