Published: Nov 02, 2010 4:48 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 02, 2010 1:48 PM EDT

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Three people have been treated for hookworms believed to have come from a stretch of Miami Beach where there are feral cats nearby.

The cases were reported at the Carriage House condos and confirmed in July and September. They came to the attention of the Miami-Dade Department of Health two weeks ago.

City and county officials have developed a plan to prevent an outbreak and cleaned and disinfected an area by the boardwalk and sand dunes between 40th and 65th streets.

The parasite can be carried in cat feces, and there is a large stray cat population nearby. City officials believe this is the source of the problem.

Health department officials caution beachgoers to use sandals to walk on the sand, and use a towel or blanket to lay on the sand.