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How to Protect Yourself from Hookworms

A 17-year-old boy was recently infected with hookworm while playing in the sand in Pompano Beach, Fl.

Hookworms are a parasite that can penetrate the skin of humans. The primary method of infection is walking barefoot on contaminated sand or soil.

The Department of Health in Lee County listed the following symptoms of being infected by hookworms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Itching and localized rash
  • Loss of appetite

If you think you’ve come in contact with hookworms, the Center for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health, suggest you contact your health care provider as soon as possible. An infection can be treated with medication in one to three days.

Prevention

Since hookworms thrive in warm and humid climates, consider:

  • Not walking barefoot in areas where hookworm is common
  • Avoid any other skin-to-soil contact in areas
  • Avoid ingesting contaminated soil

The CDC said soil becomes contaminated when people defecate outdoors or use human feces as fertilizer.

The Florida Department of Health also clarified that the soil could also be contaminated by animals, too. That is why it reminds residents to dispose of pet waste properly.

Reporting by Val Simpson

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