Is there anything better than the feeling of sand beneath your feet at the beach? In my opinion, there really isn’t anything that can’t be cured by heading to the beach, soaking up some glorious sun, kicking off your sandals, and walking along the water’s edge while listening to the waves crash against the shore.
However, since reading this mom’s chilling warning, I’ll be thinking twice about kicking off those sandals at the beach.
When Kelli Dumas’ son Michael went to Miami in June, he didn’t think twice about walking barefoot on the beach. He even had a little fun getting buried in the sand as so many people do. But what started out as fun turned into a nightmare for Michael. While in the sand, he contracted a parasitic infection — hookworm — from the beach. Here’s the fairly graphic warning Michael’s mother shared on Facebook after the incident:
If you thought that hookworm was a thing of the past in the United States, you’re not alone. It was thought that hookworm was wiped out from the U.S. decades ago. But new studies are showing that it never actually went away.
According to NPR:
Hookworm primarily spreads when an infected person defecates outside, leaving behind stool contaminated with hookworm eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the soil becomes infested with worms, which can latch on to the bare feet of anyone walking by. The microscopic worms burrow into the body through a hair follicle and ultimately worm their way into the small intestine to feed on blood. One form of hookworm can be ingested via contaminated soil or food.
Yikes. That’s definitely enough to make anyone want to keep their shoes on.
Check out the video below to learn more about Michael’s story: