(CNN) A large number of parasitic worms were found burrowing in the feet of a young Canadian couple after a recent trip to the particular Dominican Republic.
“We were itching our toes for almost the period of the trip, ” Eddie Zytner said.
Zytner, 25, and his girlfriend, Katie Stephens, 22, of Windsor, Ontario, returned home January 18 along with itchy feet. Four days later on, that itch turned into painful inflammation and blisters, he said.
The pain grew to become so intense that they could not endure shoes or socks and had in order to rely on crutches to walk.
Zytner shared a photograph on his Facebook account thatshows tortuous red tracks on his left feet.
After multiple visits to the medical center, the couple was diagnosed with cutaneous larva migrans, caused by hookworm larvae that probably entered their epidermis while they were barefoot on the seashores of Punta Cana.
The parasites usually live in the intestines of canines, cats and other wild animals, according to the US Facilities for Disease Control and Avoidance
. The larvae burrow via human skin that comes into connection with sand or soil that has been polluted with animal feces.
“To anybody traveling someplace tropical, please be careful when within the sand and wear shoes! inch Stephens pleaded on Facebook final weekafter receiving the diagnosis.
The condition typically goes away without treatment, yet antiparasiticmedications such as albendazole or ivermectin can help, according to the CDC. The hookworm larvae generally don’t survive greater than six weeks in humans.
Both drugs are bundled with the World Health Organization’s list of important medications identified for basic health-care systems. However , they are not available in North america and can be accessed only with the federal government’s Special Access Program on a case-by-case basis. In contrast, the particular drugs are available in the US with a prescribed.
“The drug companies don’t think they’re going to market enough to make it worth their whilst, ” said Dr . Stan Houston, a professor of infectious illness and public health at the University or college of Alberta, who was not mixed up in couple’s treatment. “So that is the reason could possibly be not licensed in Canada. inch
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According to Zytner, the couple’s request for the medicines was initially denied, but they eventually obtained them from a local physician who had been dual certified in Canada as well as the US.
Zytner said their symptoms have enhanced significantly since they began treatment a week ago.
“We’ve been off crutches for a couple of times now. We can finally put several pressure on our feet, ” he or she said. “The worms are virtually faded away. ”
Zytner also has advice for anybody planning a trip to the Caribbean: “Call the particular resort they’re staying at and see when they clean up all the beaches.
“Wear shoes, ” this individual added.