Infection Prevention & Control


Scabies is an itchy, relatively contagious skin condition caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabies.  When the mites burrow under the skin laying eggs along the line of its burrow, an allergic reaction occurs, with rash and itch.  Scabies is not usually present within facilities but individual cases or outbreaks can occur.

Mites pass between people by touch or when shared objects, like bedding, carry mites.  It can take between 24 hours and 4-6 weeks for rash and/or itch to develop.  Previous infection will mean a shorter time until symptoms appear.  To prevent spread, everyone exposed to the mites or patient with a scabies rash should be treated.  Usual treatments are creams/lotions but oral medication may sometimes be necessary.

You may find signage at the door on the infection prevention and control precautions you should take.  Please confirm with the nursing staff as to how you can limit spread of scabies.  The best prevention of scabies is to identify and treat it as soon as possible, and to practice proper hand hygiene.

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