A couple from Canada Katie Stephens 22 and Eddie Zytner 25 booked a well earned week-long holiday in the Dominican Republic. Little did they realise what lay in store for them.
Beware, if you are the slightest bit queasy then close this article now. Scroll no further as this is ultimately gruesome. Seriously its not for the faint-hearted.
Following a barefoot stroll on Punta Cana beach, they contracted the evil little parasites despite dangers warnings from other holiday-goers about doing so.
Soon after it became apparent that something was wrong. At first, they didn’t think anything of the fact their feet had started to itch and just thought they’d got fleas.
On January 18th when they returned home to Ontario, Zytner noticed his feet had little bumps and developed on his toes severely swollen.
Considering those pictures they went to seek medical attention being naturally a little bit worried. It wasn’t until they met the third doctor that he figured out what was wrong, because a previous patient having contracted hookworms from a beach in Thailand.
The good news came for the couple once they discovered bookworms can be treated with a medication called ivermectin. Unfortunately, there was also bad news was that the Canadian healthcare system didn’t want to cover the cost of the treatment.
The couple commented “We found out that Health Canada had denied our request to receive the medication saying our case wasn’t severe enough,” Stephens explains. “At that point, that’s when we freaked out a little.”
Thankfully Stephens’ mother volunteered to drive to Detroit, Michigan and pick up the medication from the pharmacy.
After just three days, it was already working wonders, although the pair still have to use crutches. Their condition has improved and should be back to full health soon. The couple have shared their story to raise awareness for others.
“They [his feet] feel better,” Zytner explains. “They looked a little bit better yesterday. We’re getting our bandages changed again… so we’ll have another chance to look at them and see how it’s progressing.”
Both have expressed they want to share their experience on Facebook to raise awareness for other people traveling and assist doctors who encounter the condition.
“We want to make it known to more doctors what it is, what to look for and stuff because it took us a few trips to the hospital to find out what it was,” said Zytner.
If you leave the beach feeling itchy, heed Stephen’s advice. “Please get it checked out right away,” she wrote.
“We simply thought it was just bug bites, and it became worse as each day passed.”
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