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Swimmer’s itch at Jensen Grove: learn how to prevent it

It’s that time of the season again, with the warm temperatures outside, you’re more than likely to take your family to the lake, but with that comes the risk of getting swimmers itch.

Two kids came home from Jensen Grove on Tuesday with something that looked like a rash.

“We didn’t know what it was, so we took them to the doctor, and they knew what it was right off the bat because they’d had problems with Jensen Grove before,” said Bob Leonard, the grandparent of two kids with swimmer’s itch this week.

Leonard took his grandchildren to Jensen Grove a couple days ago. The next day, he noticed bumps on their skin.

“It was just really, really itchy. Our skin was starting to get really red because we were irritating it,” said Isabel Erwin, one of the kids.

Swimmer’s itch is something that pops up every year around this time. It comes from parasites near stagnant water.

“Birds, ducks, geese, where those parasites are found in their stool material, and that gets into the water,” said Mike Taylor, epidemiologist at Eastern Idaho Public Health.

That’s another reason not to feed birds near the lake.

Jensen Grove has a sign warning visitors about swimmer’s itch.

“When you’re finished, shower off, towel off, and that’s how you can get rid of those parasites,” said Taylor.

Jensen Grove has had showers near the restrooms at the entrance for more than three years, said Mayor Paul Loomis.

Loomissaid treating the river and lake with chemicals is not an option.

The City of Blackfoot Parks and Recreation wants to remind anyone that any time you’re near lakes and rivers, you’re likely to get swimmer’s itch.

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