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  1. #1
    SGUvetgirl is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    hookworms at beach

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    Is it true that we shouldn't walk barefoot on the beaches there due to parasites?

  2. #2
    sisyphus is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGUvetgirl View Post
    Is it true that we shouldn't walk barefoot on the beaches there due to parasites?
    In the most absolute strict sense, it is probably a good idea to not expose any part of your skin to the sand at the beach due to Ancylostoma sp.

    I don't have actual statistics, but at least 2 people I know personally have been infected. 1 on a leg and 1 on a foot.

    Ancylostoma sp. natural hosts are dogs and, while I think they're trying to control feral dogs on the beach, there are still some dogs and it is spread through their feces. The nematode parasite infects by directly penetrating the skin but cannot penetrate any deeper into the body. The infection is called "cutaneous larval migrans" because it leaves a kind of burrowing red lesion which lasts for maybe 1-2 weeks (i think) and then dies because humans are not the natural host.

    Overall, while kind of creepy, the infection is usually not that big of a problem as far as a human health standpoint.

    I walk barefoot and lie directly on the beach all the time but I usually don't go to beaches which have quite as many dogs running around such as Grand Anse beach.

    I have heard 2nd or 3rd-hand of people getting infected with some type of Ascaris sp. from swimming in the waterfalls/rivers because snails or some other type of invertebrate are the intermediate host for this nematode. I have never heard this from an authoritative person (i.e. our parasitology professor) though, so it may have been untrue. They would've been infected by swallowing water while swimming.

    There is also confirmed Cryptosporidia in some freshwater bodies but I have never heard of anyone contracting it.

    Overall, I think the risk is quite low and if I remember some information given to me at some point, the parasites don't last very long on a sandy beach exposed to intense sunlight.

  3. #3
    SGUvetgirl is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Thanks! What year are you?

  4. #4
    sisyphus is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGUvetgirl View Post
    Thanks! What year are you?
    3rd year, 6th term and leaving in December!

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