The shocking reason why you shouldn't go barefoot on the beach

  • The shocking reason why you shouldn't go barefoot on the beach

The shocking reason why you shouldn't go barefoot on the beach

WARNING: The photos are somewhat graphic.

A COUPLE who recently returned from the Dominican Republic were shocked to discover they had picked up parasites from strolling on the sandy beaches.

Katie Stephens, 22, and Eddie Zytner, 25, found their feet were "incredibly itchy" following a stroll on the beach at their four-star resort in Punta Cana.

"The symptoms really started to pick up", Zytner said. She tells that as they had listened about the sand fleas they take it in the same way for the first time.

On the 19 of January, the very next day they've returned from their weekend-long exotic trip, Stevens' boyfriend's feet begun to swell.

The couple consulted two doctors who were unable to identify the cause of their condition, before they were seen by a third doctor who diagnosed the contraction of larva migrans - more commonly known as hookworms.

By Sunday, Stephens' feet also began to swell.

Stephens added that she shared their story on Facebook to warn people who travel to tropical areas, and Zytner said he wanted doctors to become more aware of the condition.

"I think I might have complained about it a little bit more that my feet were itchy, but mine didn't start swelling and everything until about the Sunday night".

The doctor who examined them had recently treated a similar such case in a tourist returning from a trip to Thailand, CTV News reported.

As per Katie's Facebook post, the two of them had contracted larva migrans - or in simpler terms - hookworms.

A Canadian couple acquired hookworms after walking barefoot on a beach in the Dominican Republic. Their doctor had to send a request to Health Canada for the medication as it's not licensed in Canada. Stephens said they were expecting to receive the drug this week, but they received some unfortunate news from their doctor on Tuesday.

"We were scratching our toes for nearly the duration of the trip", Eddie Zytner said. Instead, Zytner's mother drove across the border and bought the medication in Detroit. "They said our case wasn't severe enough to get the medication".

Although they're both still using crutches to walk around, Zytner said they're starting to notice a little improvement in their recovery.

They were prescribed a drug called Ivermectin, Stephens told CTV News. "So we'll have another chance to look at them and see how it's progressing". We're getting our bandages changed again. They're also planning to meet with a specialist to fix some of the skin damage done to their feet. Katie Stevens and Eddie Zytner recall that throughout their stay at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort, they had itchy feet, but made a decision to disregard this symptom, as the locals told them that their itchiness is caused by something called a sand flea.