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These Unusual Health Scares Will Make You Think Twice Before Travelling

Are you a jetsetter?  Or perhaps you were bitten by the wanderlust bug?  Do you believe that the earth is full of beautiful places that are just pleading for you to visit when the opportunity travel arises?  Travelling is a great way to introduce one’s self to different cultures and tradition, reflect, relax, and basically just find a new way to appreciate life – so we cannot blame you for being captivated by it.  However, there is a downside to travelling that you should be completely aware of, which is being prone to a variety of health scares.  Being surrounded by a strange environment is quite scary, but most travelers find this exhilarating, nevertheless being in an unfamiliar surroundings can pose some serious threats to your health.  The perfect vacation can turn into an emergency nightmare especially if you find yourself sick while outside the country, since your health insurance most probably do not cover out of the country health care.

You know what else is scary aside from getting sick from your trip abroad?  Getting unusual and creepy diseases.  To make you understand what we mean, here are some strange health scares that will make you want to ‘unsee’ these pictures once you have seen them.


An American couple, Eddie Zytner and Katie Stephens arrived from their vacation at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic last January; they experienced itching on their feet that they ignored thinking they were just from bug bites.  When the itch became so severe that their feet became swollen, they decided to have them checked in a hospital.  They had to go to several check-ups and doctors before their condition was finally diagnosed and confirmed – their feet were infected with ‘cutaneous larva migrans’.  To explain it plainly, they had worms living inside their feet!  According to an expert in infectious diseases, people can be infected with larva migrans when newborn hookworms break through unbroken skin and dig inside settling between the skin and flesh.

The couple most probably acquired the infection by walking barefoot on the sand of the beach resort they visited. Health experts said that these parasites that caused the couple’s infection is usually found in feces of dogs and cats, so it is most probable that the beach they went to were exposed to these animals.  Symptoms include itching and inflammation on areas where the microscopic worms travelled beneath the skin.  The expert also revealed that larva migrans cannot survive for a long time inside humans, so Eddie and Kate’s condition is expected to go away in time (especially they were prescribed medication to fight the skin infection).  The medical expert suggested for people visiting beaches, particularly the ones in developing countries, is to wear protective foot wear while walking along the shore and put towels instead of sitting directly on the sand.  You may want to heed this advice if you do not want worms burrowing into your skin!


You know the feeling when you feel something pricking inside your eye and you turn to someone close by and ask them, “is there something in my eye?”, while facing them and making your eye bigger for them to see?  Well, it’s a good thing that Abby Beckley did not do this, because the person she might have shown her eye to would have gotten the shock of his or her life. In Beckley’s case, the cause of her constant eye itching was a parasitic worm!  Beckley narrated that she felt something jabbing in her eye and when she decided to check it out, she found worms, and actually pulled 14 of them from her eye!

The question now is – how did a parasitic worm landed inside her eye and reproduced?  Richard Bradbury, a parasitologist from the Center for Disease Control or CDC explained that Beckley is actually the first human to acquire this condition (she should be in the Guinness World Records if you ask us).  The worm that is technically known as Thelazia gulosa is often found in the eyes of cows.  And face flies can be blamed for this occurrence, because they are the ones that gets the parasites in the eyes of cows.  Apparently Beckley visited family and friends in Oregon (who have livestock) before she found the parasites living in her eyes and face flies most likely, landed on her face.  The worst case scenario would have been eye blindness if the worms burrowed deeper in Beckley’s eyes, so it is a good thing that she caught the parasites just in time.

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