A Tennessee teenager 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 the Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, CBS Miami reports.
Dumas was photographed having a good time and being buried in the sand by his group on June 20. The beachgoers 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, CBS Miami reports.
Michael's mother, Kelli Dumas, documented the gruesome condition 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," Dumas said, via WJAX.
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.
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.