While not a persistent, widespread problem, the “Swimmer’s Itch” parasite is believed to be present in lakes Mead and Mohave. While found in warm, shallow waters anywhere from only a few weeks to an entire summer, the parasite is not a life-threatening concern, but one that can cause some discomfort.
“Swimmer’s Itch” is the name given to a condition caused by flatworm larva. The naturally-occurring parasite needs ducks, snails and warm shallow waters to flourish. It is common in lakes in 30 states.
(1)The parasite lives inside ducks and geese and release eggs into lake waters.
(2) These eggs hatch into small larvae that seek out water snails within which to grow.
(3) After incubating in the snails, the flatworm moves out of the snails.
(4) The flatworm swims in search of water fowl. It is during this journey that flatworms can come in contact with humans. It burrows under the skin where it dies because of its incompatibility with humans.
Last updated: July 21, 2022