Don't Bury Yourself In the Sand Because -- Hookworms!

posted by Exec. Producer Michelle - 

Michael Dumas is 17-years-old and he's doing what every other teenager is doing this summer, having fun at the beach with his friends.

Well, now he's dealing with a heck of a problem...all because of that innocent day at the beach.

Here's what happened.  

Michael is from Memphis, Tennessee, and he and his friends were on a mission trip in South Florida a few weeks ago.

While at Pompono beach, his friends thought it would be funny to bury him in the sand up to his neck.

It WAS funny, in photos you can see Michael laughing, and a good time was had by all!

But a few days later he started having ear aches and there were itchy bumps all over his legs and thighs, his feet swelled up.  And, he wasn't the only one, a few other friends who were on the trip also had the same symptoms.

So, Michael went to the doctor, who quickly diagnosed him with a heck of a case of...HOOKWORMS.

Ewww....

Apparently, they came from the beach sand.  The CDC says you can get hookworms by walking in contaminated soil or sand, apparently, the little buggers larvae PENETRATES your skin, so they can happily start worming their way under your skin.

Ewww...

Michael's mom, Kelli, posted pics of the infection on her Facebook page. Photos below....WARNING...IT'S GROSS! 

Kelli said the dermatologist said it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. She told CBS News that Michael is in pain:

"He could actually feel the worms moving in his body."

Ewwww....

To treat it, dermatologists have tried to freeze the worms with liquid nitrogen, have put Michael on steroids and other medication and has to soak in bleach water every day.

According to Kelli's Facebook post, she contacted the Broward County Health Department about the situation:

"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!"

When she asked them if they would post a sign to let people not familiar with the area know about the potential for getting hookworms, she says the woman she spoke to told her, 'That's not my job.'

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