MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CBS Local) – A Tennessee teen and several other people visiting a Florida beach have been infected with hookworms.
Michael Dumas, a 17-year-old from Memphis, was on a mission trip to South Florida with friends when they visited Pompano Beach. Dumas was photographed having a good time and being buried in the sand by his group on June 20. The beach goers didn’t know it would leave the teen covered in scars only days later.
Dumas reportedly began to suffer ear aches and had bumps under the skin of his legs and thighs. Doctors quickly diagnosed him with a severe case of hookworms. At least four other people in Dumas’ group were also infected that day.
Michael’s mother, Kelli Dumas, documented the gruesome scene on Facebook as her son’s feet swelled up from the infection and required dermatologists to try to freeze the worms with liquid nitrogen. “He could actually feel the worms moving in his body,” Kelli Dumas said, via WJAX.
**WARNING – PHOTOS CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT**
According to the CDC, hookworm larva penetrate the skin of humans and infections are usually transmitted by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. The teen has reportedly been left home-bound by the infection and needs to soak in bleach water each day.
The Dumas family claims they reached out to county officials in Florida to warn others about the parasites on Pompano Beach, but did not receive any help.
“How many people have been on the beach since June 19?” Dumas reportedly asked the Broward County Health Department. “How many people have been on the beach since I called her July 17? She told me when I said ‘I just want you to put a warning sign,’ she said to me ‘That’s not my job.'”
Dumas’ Facebook post has been shared over 8,000 times and warns parents to never let their children be buried in beach sand.
“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!!” Dumas wrote on social media.