Couple Gets Worms in Feet After Walking Barefoot on Beach

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 31, 2018 12:32 pm

(Credit: Shutterstock)

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. 

Worm Memories

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.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Living World
  • Uncle Al

    Latin America and the Caribbean:cutaneous larva migrans, cutaneous leishmaniasis, myiasis, tungiasis, chiggers, and phytophotodermatitis. What’s not to like? Buruli ulcer – that’ll leave a mark.

  • Mike Richardson

    Wow! Parasites on the Dominican beaches? Trouble in paradise, I guess.

  • OWilson

    I, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors to Dominican Republic have taken a daily walk on the beach, for the last 10 years.

    I have never seen or heard of this affliction, in all that time, but there are some general common sense precautions that travellers to foreign countries should take.

    Beaches, including the Great Lakes, as well as the popular Caribbean beaches tend to be more crowded where facilities are offered, restaurants, hotels and other crowd pleasing delights.

    In those busy built up and developed areas, like in Toronto, and the so-called best beach in the world, Sarasota, there are natural storm water run-off channels that bring down water from the city across the beach. Some contain more than storm water, and are best stepped over!

    I have seen folks walking through these natural drains in bare feet, even choosing that area to swim.

    Also, not a good idea to swim with your mouth open, on crowded beaches, even in the hotel pool. Use bottled water for teeth brushing!

    Most well travelled vacationers know these normal facts of life, and don’t need hand holding guides, or giant signs on beaches.

    But, unfortunately, some always do! :)

  • nik

    There are a myriad of natures nasties that can sneak into your body, at any one of a number of places, some rather intimate, and cause mild to life threatening effects.
    Regrettably, the areas that have the most inviting climates, are also the same areas where the majority of these nasties reside.
    If you think about it too much, you’d become nervous paranoid stay-at-home wreck!
    All you can do is live, and hope that if you’re unlucky to find them, or they find you, that the medical services have a remedy.

    • OWilson

      Common sense can increase your life expectancy, but they don’t teach such jingoistic right wing babel these days :)

      • nik

        They do when you are in the military, and get posted to the tropics.
        It goes with about a dozen inoculations, but it often gets ignored, and the ignorant ones then suffer the consequences, and the laughter of their mates!

        • OWilson

          Don’t they have waiting lists for gender re-assignment surgery?

          Along with th obligatory name change, of course. The paper work must be something else!

          Does the order go out across the battlefield P.A.

          “As we advance to the strategic bridge head X47 tomorrow, former Corporal Harry Smith now must be referred to as Corporal Britney-Leigh Destiny .

          Anyone cought laughing, will face severe Civil Rights charges!”

  • Patrick Hebenstreit

    Guess I have been lucky 😉


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