LOP re-opens lake after rash outbreak | TheUnion.com

LOP re-opens lake after rash outbreak

Lake of the Pines officials re-opened their lake this week, posting precautions after an outbreak of swimmer’s itch closed the reservoir earlier.

By Wednesday, crews had completed an herbicide treatment of the lake’s aquatic weeds, thought to be habitat for the tiny snails that release parasites into the water and cause the rash known as swimmer’s itch, said general manager Kathryn Henricksen.

Notices have been posted at all beaches and at marina gates where people access their boats, Henricksen said.

The notices recommend toweling dry and showering immediately after swimming in the lake to reduce the risk of getting swimmer’s itch.

Officials made the decision Wednesday to re-open the lake after treating the weeds, air and lake temperatures cooled down and safety precautions with Web site links were posted, Henricksen.

So far, officials have not found a way to test the waters for the presence of a parasite. Swimmers swim at their own risk, and there is no guarantee they won’t get the rash, Henricksen said.

“I would suggest members are still concerned with the lake, and we are, too. We continue to focus our efforts to resolve the swimmer’s itch issue,” Henricksen said.

Guards closed seven beaches Sunday after the association received about 20 complaints of the itchy skin rash that looks like chicken pox. At least two people who have contacted The Union reported their children contracted the rash several weeks ago.

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