A number of infected people may not show symptoms, but according to the CDC they experience protein deficiency and blood loss leading to anemia.
In an interview with Canadian broadcast CTVNews last Friday, Ms Stephens said that they had been scratching their feet for most of the trip, but assumed that the itch was caused by sand flies.
On the 19 of January, the very next day they've returned from their weekend-long exotic trip, Stevens' boyfriend's feet begun to swell.
He was sent home in bandages with no answers. Eddie's feet began to swell up, with blisters and bumps popping up all over.
"I had a lot of itchiness during the trip", she told the publication. "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".
The couple went to the hospital again just four days after flying home, and got a positive diagnosis. After two doctors were left completely stumped about the condition, Eddie shared that a third doctor was able to recognize the condition as he had recently seen a similar case from a tourist who travelled to Thailand.
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"They [his feet] feel better", Zytner told CTV News.
When the couple tried to get ivermectin, a drug that will treat hookworm infections, they experienced first-hand a problem that The Globe and Mail has reported to be widespread: some common medications used to treat tropical illnesses and other diseases are not available in Canada because no drug company will sell them, despite their availability in other countries like the United States. Stephens said they were expecting to receive the drug this week, but they received some unfortunate news from their doctor on Tuesday.
Stephens also complained that the health care system in Canada did not cover the medication she needed, although she later added, "I would like to stress we had wonderful health care from our doctors to our nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists". "At that point, that's when we freaked out a little".
But a doctor who possessed a dual-nation licence helped Zytner and Stephens to get the required medications in the USA, the website reported. Stephens' mother volunteered to drive to Detroit, Michigan and pick up the necessary medication from the pharmacy. Zytner and Stephens said they took the medication for two days. Fortunately, they started noticing that the medication was making well to them, although they still had to use crutches to walk around.
While staying at a Punta Cana resort, Katie Stephens and Eddie Zytner thought they had bug bites when their feet became itchy.