Swimmer's Itch — A New England Problem
Abstract:Swimmer's Itch is found on the East coast of New England and as far south as North Carolina, especially in areas where mud snails are present. It is manifested by maculo-papular, vesicular skin lesions that peak in 3 days and have a duration of about 10 days. These lesions are extremely pruritic and may become secondarily infected. Other diagnosic signs are that they appear to be concentrated in skin areas approximating the high water mark (in waders) and are absent from areas covered by swimming trunks or clothes. Lesions are caused by penetration of the skin by avian schistosome cercaria when man becomes the accidental host. The pathogenetic mechanism appears to be related to a delayed hypersensitivity reaction, although circulating antibodies are also present. Antigenic cross reactivity exists between the schistosome of swimmer's itch and that of the other major schistosomes. Treatment of this self-limiting skin disorder is symptomatic.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1980
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