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Cercariae: Worm larvae can spoil bathing fun

Strandbad Müggelsee (3)

Those who swim in Berlin's lakes should be a little careful because of sucking worms in the water.

Their tiny larvae, the so-called cercariae, occur increasingly on shores with many plants and birds, as the State Office for Health and Social Affairs announced on Thursday (June 16, 2022). According to the report, they can cause skin inflammation. According to the report, cercariae can somewhat spoil swimming pleasure despite the "excellent" water quality of Berlin bathing lakes.

Recommendations for safe bathing

It is recommended to avoid shores with many water plants. Cildren especially should not stand in shallow water for a long time. It is further recommended to take off wet bathing clothes, use waterproof sunscreen, and to rub off vigorously with a towel after bathing. In case of severe symptoms, one should go to the doctor. Cases of cercariae should be reported to the health department.

Numerous lakes affected

According to the report, in previous years there were indications of cercariae in the following bodies of water: Schlachtensee, Krumme Lanke, Jungfernheide Pond, Großer and Kleiner Müggelsee, Halensee, Unterhavel (Große Steinlanke), and Großer Wannsee. Cercariae can cause reddened patches, itching and wheals on the skin.

Excellent water quality in Berlin

In general, the State Offic said, the self-purification capacity of the local waters is very high. "Even long, hot summers and many people bathing do not necessarily have a negative effect on Berlin's bathing waters." Those who want to find out before swimming can find a map of Berlin bathing sites on the authorities' website: All were green there on Thursday.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 17 June 2022
Last updated: 17 June 2022

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