A Tennessee woman says her son became infected with hookworms after a visit to a South Florida Beach.
Kelli Dumas posted photos of her 17-year-old son Michael's infected feet to Facebook after he visited Pompano Beach during a mission trip last month. She said he was buried in the sand and became infected, along with four other people on the trip.
Hookworms are often contracted by coming into contact with soil that has been contaminated by animal feces. Walking on the soil barefoot can lead to contracting the hookworms, according to the CDC.
"He was buried in the sand for fun and it has become our nightmare," she wrote.
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The Florida Department of Health in Broward County on Friday said it launched an investigation after receiving four reports of animal-associated hookworm infections.
Kelli Dumas said the painful hookworms have required a number of medications that have cost more than $1,300. Her son has also had to visit a pediatrician four times as well as a dermatologist.
She told NBC 6 her son is still under doctor's care "and will be for a long time."
"Never be buried in sand or allow your children to be either! I am only showing a few pictures because it is so disturbing," she said. "He is in pain."