The front of 5th Street School on a sunny day.

SCABIES

Scabies is a skin infestation causes by the borrowing itch mite, "Sarcoptes scabiei."  It is common among children.  Scabies is characterized by itching, particularly at night, and blister-like scores in the borrows on the skin, which may become  infected.  These scores are especially prevalent in the webs between the fingers, heels of the palms, wrists, armpits, buttocks, genitalia, and elbows.  Nipples may also be affected in older females.  Scabies is transmitted by close contact with an affected individual.

 

INCUBATION PERIOD:

From 2 to 6 weeks in the first infection, only a few days in subsequent infections.

 

PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY:

During the duration of the disease, until mites and eggs are destroyed by treatment.  Return to school after treatment completed.

 

CONTROL OF SPREAD:

Infected persons are excluded from school until treatment is completed.  Prophylactic treatment is recommended for all household members at the same time to prevent reinfection.  Prophylactic treatment for caretakers in close skin-to-skin contact.  Bedding and clothing worn next to skin should be laundered in hot water and not drying cycle.  Clothing that cannot be laundered should be stored in plastic bag for a week or more.

 

FUTURE PREVENTION:

Promote personal hygiene.

 

HEALTH EDUCATION:

Scabies is a common problem, and other than itching and the possibility of infected lesions, it is not terribly serious.  Presence of scabies for the first time does not necessarily indicate poor hygiene.  If repeated infections occur, despite proper therapy, an investigation for unrecognized cases among companies or household members should be undertaken.  Clothing and bed clothes should be well laundered, and bed mattresses and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed thoroughly.  Insecticide treatment of the home is not indicated.