Couple Gets Worms in Feet From Walking on Beach
Traveling, as wonderful as it can be, sometimes comes with risks. We’ve heard stories of faulty diving equipment, jellyfish mishaps, and even rats in hotel rooms, but when this story hit our desks, we all were like, “whhhhuuuut?”. Worms in feet. You heard it friends. WORMS. IN. FEET.
Apparently, a Canadian couple, Katie Stephens and Edie Zytner enjoyed beach walking barefoot in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as one would do on a beach holiday. Except, after scratching their feet throughout the trip, then returning home with blistering so painful, they couldn’t walk.
And, then HOOKWORMS!
and then this…
“To anybody travelling somewhere tropical, please be careful when in the sand and wear shoes! My boyfriend and I recently got back from Punta Cana to discover that we both have larva migrans, in other terms worms in our feet. If your feet become incredibly itchy please get it checked out right away since we simply thought it was just bug bites and it became worse as each day passed. The resort we stayed at was IFA villas bavaro resort and spa. Also, this injury has nothing to do with coverage or travel insurance, I was back in my home country when I was first treated and don’t need travel coverage for what I have.
Also, to top it off health Canada denied our request to receive the medicine (ivermectin) we needed to treat our infection and were forced to get medicine from the states. Thank you Canada for your lovely health care you provide for us! ???? (Edit:Although I painted Health Canada and our health care with the same brush, I would like to stress we had amazing health care from our doctors to our nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists. We had great health care, just frustrated with Health Canada).”
Hookworms are found in animal intestines, and can be spread through fecal matter released into the sand or from beach areas close to sewage runoffs.
After heading to the hospital in Ontario, Canada, there were some issues getting the special drugs to kill the larvae. Eventually, they were given the necessary antiparasitic medications from the hospital to kill the dozens of hookworm larvae that had been gestating in their feet.
So, what’s our takeaway?
Wear beach shoes when walking in sand. WEAR. BEACH. SHOES.
Photos: Katie Stephens/FB
What are Hookworms? via Health Line
The two types of hookworms that cause infection are Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale.
Eggs of hookworms end up on the ground after passing through feces. They hatch into larvae, which stay in the soil until they have a chance to break through human skin.
You can become infected with hookworms by coming into contact with soil that contains their eggs or larvae. The larvae enter your skin, travel through your bloodstream, and enter your lungs. They also travel to your windpipe and are carried to your small intestine when you swallow. Fully grown, they can live in your small intestine for a year or more before passing through feces.
People who live in warm climates in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation are more at risk of developing hookworm infections.