Kelli Mulhollen Dumas has warned parents to ensure their children cover their feet at the beach after her son contracted parasites on holiday.
Kelli wasn’t immediately alarmed when her 17-year-old son came back from a trip to Florida, US with a red bumpy rash on his feet.
Lots of people get bitten on holiday and at the beach – there are all sorts of creepy crawlies lying around!
However, when she discovered that he had contracted hookworms, Kelli began to worry. This infection can lead to a very uncomfortable condition known as creeping eruption.
According to John Hopkins Medicine website, the infection causes severe itching, blisters and a red growing rash.
Kelli, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, explained on Facebook: ‘Michael went to Miami June 20 for a mission trip. He was buried in the sand for fun and it has become our nightmare. Four of our people contracted a parasitic infection, hookworms, from the Pompano Beach. Michael has the worst case, by far.’
She continued: ‘He is in pain and this is AWFUL. Never be buried in sand or allow your children to be either! I am only showing a few pictures because it is so disturbing. Please, please pray for him to heal. Also feel free to SHARE THIS POST AND WARN OTHERS. The Health Department in Pompano Beach said “Everyone knows to wear shoes on the beach because you can get parasites.” I assured them everyone does NOT KNOW THAT!!’
Kelli posted an update on her original warning and said that her son was on his third round on anti-parasitic medicine but was still not fully treated.
Closer to home, a young girl from Devon was recently rushed to hospital after she caught an infection while swimming in the sea.
12-year-old Erin Town was hospitalised for two nights after she had been swimming at Wildersmouth Beach in Ilfracombe, Devon, an area where swimming is not advised due to the poor water quality.
Erin’s mum Paulina spoken to Devon Live and explained that she had no idea this was the case and would not have let her daughter swim there had she known.
Erin contracted cryptosporidiosis – an infection that comes from a parasite called cryptosporidium. It causes diarrhoea, vomiting. stomach pain, fever and sometimes dehydration and weight loss.
After sharing a warning on Facebook Paulina, who has since made the post private, was shocked by how many people did not know this area was not safe for swimming.
She explained that one of the nurses at the hospital she spoke to said she wouldn’t even let her dog swim in the water.
Paulina added: ‘I was absolutely petrified, it was awful. We’ve lived in Ilfracombe for 12 years now and I never knew that you weren’t supposed to swim at that beach. I had no idea the water was that bad. If we’d known I never would have let Erin go swimming there.’
Katy Nicholls, public protection manager for North Devon Council, told Devon Live that the council had not been informed of the incident and had not received a formal notification from any health body concerning a diagnosis of Cryptosporidium.
Katy explained that this is being treated as an isolated incident and as the area mentioned is an undesignated bathing beach, the council do not intend to take any further action.
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