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Warning for swimmers as E.coli, swimmer's itch found at three MN beaches

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E.coli and reported cases of "swimmer's itch" have prompted authorities to issue water warnings for bathers in Duluth and east central Minnesota.

The Northland News Center reports that high levels of E.coli bacteria have been found at two beach fronts on Park Point in Duluth, and that officials have advised people not to go into the water in the two areas.

The first is a beach off the Sky Harbor parking lot, and the other is off Franklin Park, at 13th St. South, the TV station notes, with both beaches set to be re-sampled by health officials on June 15.

Meanwhile, Washington County has issued a warning to anyone using the swimming beach at Big Marine Park Reserve.

That's because several people have reported getting swimmer's itch, which is caused by a parasite in the water that usually infects birds, semi-aquatic mammals and snails, but can cause allergic reactions in humans that lead to a rash.

The county said in its news release that anyone swimming in the water should use the nearby shower facility as soon as they get out of the water, and dry off with a towel immediately after.

The county has said it will be treating the beach in the coming weeks, which will result in it closing to swimmers for at least two days, with bathers urged at that time to use the swimming beach at nearby Square Lake Park.

According to the Mayo Clinic, humans aren't suitable hosts for the parasites that cause swimmer's itch, so rashes typically clear up on their own within a few days, and can be controlled with over-the-counter or prescription medication.

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