Rash caused by parasites reported in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona officials are warning visitors to local lakes about reports of a rash caused by a tiny bird parasite.

Maricopa County health officials posted the warning after several people reported getting the rash after wading or swimming in Saguaro Lake near Phoenix.

The rash is known as swimmer's itch or lake itch. It is an allergic skin reaction to the parasites and can persist for weeks.

Symptoms consist of itchy, reddish pimples or blisters that occur only on portions of skin that come in contact with the contaminated water. The rash is not spread from person to person.

County officials are advising that residents avoid swimming in shallow water where submerged vegetation occurs.

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