Couple contracts hookworms during vacation to Dominican Republic

WINDSOR, Ontario — A couple who contracted hookworms while on a Caribbean vacation are warning others about the parasites after doctors had trouble identifying the infection.

Katie Stephens, 22, and Eddie Zytner, 25, went to three doctors over the course of four days after they returned from their trip Jan. 19 before one doctor recognized the malady because he had recently seen a similar case from a tourist who went to Thailand, according to CTV News.


"I had a lot of itchiness during the trip," Stephens told CTV News. "I think I might have complained about it a little bit more that my feet were really itchy, but mine didn't start swelling and everything until about the Sunday night."

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The doctor determined they had larva migrans, hookworms, which enter the skin through an infection. The couple believe they contracted hookworms while walking along the beach during their stay at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, according to CTV News.

The drug the couple were told to take for treatment is not available in Canada. Zytner’s mother had to drive to Detroit to pick up the medication. They have taken it for two days and notice improvement.

"(My feet) feel better," Zytner told CTV News. "They looked a little bit better yesterday. We're getting our bandages changed again, so we'll have another chance to look at them and see how it's progressing."