Picture yourself on a tropical beach. You’re walking barefoot on the sand, hand-in-hand with someone you love. But trouble may be lurking underfoot, and one Canadian couple stepped right into it.
After getting back from vacation in the Dominican Republic, a couple had really itchy feet. At first, they figured they had bug bites and itched away, hoping the sensations would eventually go away. Then it got worse as each day passed. They eventually went to get their feet checked out. Good thing, too, because bugs hadn’t actually bitten them. Rather, they had worms inside their feet.
The couple was diagnosed with larva migrans, likely from walking barefoot in the sand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these hookworm larvae cause skin lesions and swelling and most often enter people through their feet, butt (whaaaat), or any other part of the body that has been in contact with the contaminated area. Sandy beaches are hotspots for spreading the worms, and most reported cases from people who traveled to the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and South America.
Now for why you’re really here, pictures. Scroll down if you dare …
Thankfully, the worms typically don’t survive more than 6 weeks in humans and tend to go away on their own. The couple, however, did receive Ivermectin to treat the parasites. Their feet will be sans-worms in no time.
Next time you’re thinking about frolicking barefoot on a sandy beach, wear some shoes or you might just take more than memories away from the beach.
Want to see another curious case of “What’s in my body?!”: check out the 5-foot-long tapeworm that one man wish he didn’t find lurking about.