Parasites 101: Swimmer’s itch

Each year during this time period we begin to see reports of swimmer’s itch round the country. Common lore in media is this fact is because “duck fleas” in freshwater and ‘sea lice’ in brine however, this isn’t correct.

Rather, swimmer’s itch is because the larvae of the parasite known as schistosomes. Numerous wild birds like ducks and gulls and a few mammals like beavers could be have contracted the parasite within their bloodstream.

Parasitology teacher and author of Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Visitors, Rosemary oil Drisdelle became a member of me to talk about the ins-and-outs of swimmer’s itch.

Schistosome dermatitisSchistosome eczema, or “swimmers itch” /CDC


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