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Old 06-27-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
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Default INFESTATION of Cercariae and Schistosoma at Newfound June 2016

Newfound Lake is touted as one of the cleanest in the country but beware. I had visitors for a few days from June 18-21, 2016. We had wonderful weather and the four grandchildren and two daughters enjoyed lakeside relaxation and perfect weather. That is until a few days later when they discovered the results of an INFESTATION of Cercariae and Schistosoma and the nasty, uncomfortable health issues of Swimmers Itch.

You can read more about it if you simply GBoogle "Swimmers Itch in NH" or you can find stories about its occurence in 2011 at Winnipesaukee at the link below

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ad.php?t=12369

It makes little sense that this issue is not in the public awareness and I strongly believe that the State of NH should do more to inform residents and visitors. In fact, when I spoke to an 80 years young local and life long resident, he had never heard any mention of it around these parts. When I called the Fish and Game Dept about it, their response was to call someone else. In fact, F&G caused the problem back in the 50s and now it is someone elses problem which is both sad and amusing.

It is a nasty problem and too little is said about it, most likely due to fears that the tourism industry will suffer some consequences. In fact, the waters may look crystal clear and so did my families extremities before they went into the water. BEWARE and read about what you can do to address this miserable problem that is hidden from view.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:40 AM   #2
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Default Swimmer's (duck) Itch

While we have had no one swimming yet this season at our place on East Bear Island, in previous years we have experienced episodes of duck itch. Some people are more prone to being affected by this problem. We always suggest that one take a soap shower after being in the water. 🐻
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
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Default ducks/geese

Do not let ducks and geese linger near your beach.
It is they who harbor the "duck itch" ingredient.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:40 AM   #4
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Really? That surprises me. I thought duck itch was a pretty well known culprit!
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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Default

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Originally Posted by Sal View Post
Do not let ducks and geese linger near your beach.
It is they who harbor the "duck itch" ingredient.
While the birds harbor it, along with humans, racoons and other animals, it's actually caused by snails.

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html

Our son in law picked up a snail to show the kids and it immediately released a cloud of goop. Guess what they had next day or so?
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default A well known culprit????

A senior member's comment in this thread is delightful about his/her assumption that this problem is 'well known'. I have been on Newfound Lake since the 70s and my first experience with it was 2011 or 2012. For me at least it is far from well known that swimmers itch exists at Newfound Lake

That experience in 2011 or 2012 resulted in a disastrous family vacation and a cloud of dust as family members departed 3-4 days early with the assumption that their misery was caused by bed bugs. Accordingly, I went to the hardware store and got some bug bomb and bombed the place, I took rugs out for cleaning, all the linens were rewashed at the laundromat, all the towels were rewashed at the laundromat, all the pictures and wall hangings were removed and carefully scrubbed, the family disposed of assumedly bedbug infested luggage, and this was only the beginning as people were looking cross eyed at each other due to their supposed inappropriate behavior and failure to respond in some assumed appropriate manner. Also, I had the exterminators do a visit for a few hundred bucks and only after a two week wait but.....to their credit they found no bedbugs. Indeed, this well known culprit caused financial, psychological, and physical suffering along with mental anguish and an enormous waste of time for people who have been enjoying well known things about the Newfound Region for over 40 years.

It was only after a few more weeks of research and discussions with medical professionals that we discovered that most likely the well known culprit was that thing that supposedly we all should understand as the well known swimmers itch culprit.

Please don't misunderstand me, I admit that I am and have been ignorant of this issue and that is the essence of my commentary. As I mentioned, an 80 plus year old friend and resident of the area had never heard of it on Newfound and he ran a sailboat marina for many years and spent hours upon hours up to his waste in the water launching and retrieving sunfish and other small sailboats. I am almost 70 and I have been in the waters around Newfound for 40 plus years and I had never heard of it either until what I thought was an isolated incident a few years ago. I thought it was just some 100 year flood kind of event. Clearly, the 100 year flood frequency is now on its way to becoming a well known culprit on Newfound as it is for the Senior Member on Winnipesaukee who responded recently.

In fact, there are notices at DES and at other places on the web about this topic but I strongly believe that more needs to be done and I would enjoy hearing suggestions from Forum readers about what, if anything, can and should be done by NH agencies in an effort to alert the public and residents to this problem.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:33 PM   #7
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Beaches in the area are generally closed when "duck itch" is suspected. It is posted at the beaches and it even makes the local TV News and Newspaper so that those people that do not visit the beaches know to stay out of the water in that general area for a period of time.

You can contract "duck itch" at ... say "The Ledges" on Newfound Lake but the area around Wellington Beach will be fine for swimming.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #8
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A couple people getting duck itch is hardly an "infestation". Keep water foul away their poop is the problem, has nothing to do with how clean the water may be, in fact clarity has nothing to do with how clean it is.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:56 PM   #9
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Default Beaches in the area are generally closed when "duck itch" is suspected

Can we do a poll about Swimmers Itch?

Does anyone recall a 'beach closed' notice or 'beach warning" notice posted on Newfound Lake beach and when?

Does anyone recall a 'beach closed' notice or 'beach warning" notice posted on a beach on Lake Winnipesaukee and when?

Does anyone recall a newspaper article and when on Swimmers Itch, Duck Itch or a warning about the situation in any of the NH lakes?
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:02 PM   #10
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To the best of my knowledge....

NO beach has ever been closed due to swimmers/duck itch... I seriously doubt they even test for it. You get it where ducks and other waterfowl frequent. With the explosion of Canada Geese in the area this isn't surprising.

The best defense is to towel off immediately after you get out of the water.


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Old 06-27-2016, 05:10 PM   #11
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Default A couple people getting duck itch is hardly an "infestation".

It may not be an infestation in your eyes or definition but please let me know if you have ever enjoyed the symptoms including 50 or more welts the size of a pea with severe discomfort and itching lasting for an entire week.

How many welts or people are necessary for this commentary to have validity? And, please let me know how it is possible to continue to claim that Newfound Lake is such a pristine and clean lake. Indeed, one infestation or one person's suffering is enough for me to justify a modicum of public awareness and monitoring on a regular basis by the people that receive our taxes and fees!
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newfound Resident View Post
Can we do a poll about Swimmers Itch?

Does anyone recall a 'beach closed' notice or 'beach warning" notice posted on Newfound Lake beach and when?

Does anyone recall a 'beach closed' notice or 'beach warning" notice posted on a beach on Lake Winnipesaukee and when?

Does anyone recall a newspaper article and when on Swimmers Itch, Duck Itch or a warning about the situation in any of the NH lakes?
Duck itch is not exclusive to any body of water and it is not specific years that it happens.... it just does

As to your request for "proof"
3 beaches in laconia
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/3-l...teria/21178832

Too many to mention in various towns last year
http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/b...indge/35086910

8 more public beaches closed last year
http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/s...aches/34333244

There must be another reason for the bedbugs
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outdoorsman View Post
Duck itch is not exclusive to any body of water and it is not specific years that it happens.... it just does

As to your request for "proof"
3 beaches in laconia
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/3-l...teria/21178832

Too many to mention in various towns last year
http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/b...indge/35086910

8 more public beaches closed last year
http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/s...aches/34333244

There must be another reason for the bedbugs
The beach advisories you cited are for E-coli and Cyanobacteria and very different from swimmers itch/duck itch, which, though extremely obnoxious, are not considered "health hazards" by the DES. The OP is correct that NH beaches are neither signed with warnings nor closed for evidence of swimmers itch/duck itch.

http://www.nhstateparks.com/swimmersitch.html

As an example, Wolfeboro's Carrie Beach has one of the cleanest DES records but is notorious among people in the know for swimmers itch/duck itch.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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Default Fecal coliform

They weren't closed because of duck itch, they were closed for elevated levels of the fecal coliform bacteria. Big difference.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:32 PM   #15
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Default Woodsey has the answer

"The best defense is to towel off immediately after you get out of the water."


Winnisquam like ALL the lakes is prone to it including Newfound.
Newfound is lucky in that the water there gets changed due to springs more than the other lakes.
That still doesn't stop the snails from getting it and passing it on to the waterfowl.

Don't go near any duck or geese areas and don't pick up any snails,
Snails cause it to the ducks and geese, it passes through their waste to go back into the water.
Just watch what you do after your in the water.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:28 PM   #16
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Default Welcome

After all the conversation, I don't think anybody said "Welcome to the Forum". WELCOME!
The issue you bring up is present in many areas and we should all recognize it as such.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newfound Resident View Post
It may not be an infestation in your eyes or definition but please let me know if you have ever enjoyed the symptoms including 50 or more welts the size of a pea with severe discomfort and itching lasting for an entire week.

How many welts or people are necessary for this commentary to have validity? And, please let me know how it is possible to continue to claim that Newfound Lake is such a pristine and clean lake. Indeed, one infestation or one person's suffering is enough for me to justify a modicum of public awareness and monitoring on a regular basis by the people that receive our taxes and fees!
Well to your point, according to the CDC the parasite that is responsible for duck itch lasts no more than 24 hours in open water, so the "infestation" is done... whew!
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #18
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Default Newfound update on cercariae and thanks to Forum respondants

Thanks for all or your helpful and provocative comments on the Duck Itch situation here at pristine Newfound Lake

I received additional input from Sonya Carlson at DES in an email and a follow-up phone message from her which more or less indicated that their offices consider duck itch to be a situation in the natural environment that is similar to say poison ivy and since it is not, in their opinion, a 'health' issue with serious medical consequences then that is the underlying reason for their effectively silence about the infestations (my word and I think it must require quit a few of the little buggers to cause the effects that I observed last weekend .....thus an infestation of the duck itch causing buggers). Accordingly, I hope Ms. Carlson and others at DES will take the time to come here for a visit, a few hours in the water, and a weeks worth of duck itch symptoms. Then perhaps we can see what she and others at DES think about their policies and lack of public awareness initiatives.

Also, FYI Ms Carlson made it clear that duck itch is in fact caused by the cercariae and not schistosomes which are found in fresh water in the tropics and are a very serious health threat in those areas. This I suppose is progress.

Thus, I will leave you all with the suggestion that something should or could be done along the lines of the F&G bumper stickers which advertise "Brake for Moose, It Could Save Your Life". With only rudimentary literary licensing skills, I think we could consider signage or bumper stickers saying something like "Beware of Cercariae, They Could Ruin your Week". In that way, visitors and residents alike would certainly use their iPhones to search for what in God's name is a Cercariae and then they would be directed to all the information that can be had in cyberspace.

So, I close with thanks to all and special thanks to Descant for your kind words.

PS....I hope MAXUM is correct in his statement about the short life of these little nasty buggers but I expect that is too good to be true .....Beware the Cercariae!
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:49 AM   #19
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Question Worse Than Chiggers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newfound Resident View Post
"...As I mentioned, an 80 plus year old friend and resident of the area had never heard of it on Newfound and he ran a sailboat marina for many years and spent hours upon hours up to his waste in the water launching and retrieving sunfish and other small sailboats. I am almost 70 and I have been in the waters around Newfound for 40 plus years and I had never heard of it either until what I thought was an isolated incident a few years ago..."
That's a lot to wade through he's lucky to have stayed healthy!

• But the cercariae, like last week's pine pollen, get concentrated into the shallows by winds. Wading to fetch sailboats isn't a problem until you get into the shallows. I'd expect that tubers would be rarely affected, because they exit deeper waters from a swim platform.

If you can get out of the (deeper) water at the end of your dock, you'll avoid the concentrations of cercarić. 'Worse than poison ivy...legs and ankles are largely affected—in any case, towel off immediately!

• The nearly-instant "fix" for Duck Itch is a prescription of Triamcinolone acetonide cream, lotion or ointment. (Available nearly-instantly from your doctor even before entering the water!)

The ingredients—which are like an over-the-counter cortisone on steroids—last a very long time in the tube. There are several trade names of similarly-compounded remedies. One may have seen this product previously as Aristocort, Kenalog, Trymex or Triatex. You may be prescribed something different than all the above.



Ask for a metal tube, as mice will chew through a plastic tube to lap it up!

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Old 06-29-2016, 06:47 AM   #20
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Default Chiggers

Originally from the Midwest, I know chiggers, I hate chiggers!!! Glad that they are not here. 🐻
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