International Health Care Clinic

International Health Care Clinic



Young couple contracts hookworms

International Medical Information

A young Canadian couple who recently returned from the Dominican Republic contracts parasitic hookworms in feet on beach vacation.  After a recent trip from Dominican Republic, they developed painful blisters and swelling in their feet.  They noticed their feet were itchy when they stayed in Punta Cana.  After coming back to their home, they found their feet beginning to swell.  They meet three doctors, but first two doctors could not have diagnosed.  The third doctor was diagnosed with larva migrans (hookworms) because he had seen a similar case from a tourist who traveled Thailand.  According to CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hookworms are parasites that typically live in the intestines of dogs, cats, and other wild animals.  They can penetrate the skin of humans.  Hookworms infection is transmitted primarily by walking barefoot on contaminated sandy beach.  A person with a light infection may have no symptoms, but a heavy infection can lead to itching, a localized rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and anemia.  The infection can typically be treated in one to three days with medication that is called ivermectin prescribed by a health care professional.  Ivermectin is a medicine use to kill worms developing in the body.  Albendazole is also effective.  If you have a plan to go to the place where have sandy beach, please wear shoes for protecting from Hookworms infection.