Patients exposed to scabies at New Hampshire hospitals

A rather unusual outbreak of scabies is currently plaguing several hospitals in New Hampshire, The Monitor Daily reports.

Scabies infestations occur when the human itch mite burrows into the upper layer of people's skin and lays eggs, according to the CDC. Although the condition is nowhere near life-threatening, patients can experience severe itching and a pimple-like skin rash.

What sets this outbreak apart is some patients and healthcare staff may have been exposed to crusted (Norwegian) scabies, a more severe and transmittable strain of the condition, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Health officials say patients treated in Manchester (N.H.) at either Dartmouth-Hitchcock's facilities or the Catholic Medical Center in July, August or November of 2015 may have been infected. The scabies mite can spread through direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person infested with the mite, so statewide medical authorities are working to contain the situation by setting up incipient symptom and preventive treatment centers.

"We are helping to coordinate the extensive efforts by these two facilities by providing consultation and recommendations as they work to quickly reach all persons who may have been affected," State Epidemiologist Benjamin Chan, MD, told The Monitor Daily. "Scabies is not a public health threat, but it does cause uncomfortable clinical symptoms, so we want to try and help D-H Manchester and CMC prevent unnecessary infestation amongst their staff, patients and visitors."

The local health department will operate the scabies treatment clinics March 9, 10 and 11 for any patients who might have been exposed. For more information, click here.



More articles on outbreaks:
Mumps infected students quarantined at Harvard
Uptick in flu cases causes Chicago hospitals to restrict visitors
Infographic: Where in the US have Zika cases been reported? [March 3 update]

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars