In Florida, Ive recently heard of three nursing homes in the area that had scabies cases. A client of mine at the mental health clinic told me that she couldnt get elimite at the local pharmacy as it had sold out. Her child had picked it up at the local child care center from another student. I spoke to a nurse at the mental health clinic where I work and she said that she feels itchy when leaving the assisted living facility she works at one time a week but shes never contracted scabies.
Scabies are very tiny mites so they cant be seen by the naked eye. They can be spread by skin contact such as holding hands and sexual relations, as well as by sharing clothing or bedding. Kids play very close to each other and get into wrestling and close contact looking at baseball cards, cell phone pictures and coloring together. At nursing homes people sit next to each other watching tv, hug each other for support and sometimes share clothing with their roommates. Sharing head phones can spread it as well and kids tend to do this with ipods often.
With scabies you may first itch before you notice the rash. Common spots are the arm pits, webs of fingers, wrists, stomach area and buttocks. Kids can get scabies on their faces but adults generally dont. You may also see the little burrow lines that are white, grey or red where the female egg zig zags under your skin to lay the eggs. These are difficult to see due to their thinness.
Permethrin cream is applied to the skin and left on over night to kill the scabies. At the same time, a thorough wash is needed in very hot water for the clothing and bedding. After 24 hours kids can go back to school, but be aware that if other kids are carrying scabies or untreated, one can get re-infected. This is one reason why they foud that a nursing home kept having residents re-infected. People werent treated that had scabies and when they were, they didnt apply the cream under the nails. This is an important area that gets forgotten. When people scratch themselves , they can easiy spread whats under their finger nails to others. Scabies is not difficult to treat, but it needs to be done properly and with attention to detail.
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