Home Health What is scabies and how is it spread: main symptoms

What is scabies and how is it spread: main symptoms

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The scabies outbreaks they are like those of salmonellosis: every so often new cases occur which, when they reach a certain number of infections, concern the health authorities.

In fact, regional health systems periodically warn of measures to prevent contagion and inform the population. The Public Health Agency of Cataloniafor example, has on several occasions produced reports to explain what human scabies is, how this disease can be contracted and what measures must be taken to combat it.

What is scabies?

It is a skin infection caused by a parasite (‘Sarcoptes scabei’). scabies is a disease contagious that both animals and people can contract and that causes intense itching. It is quite common and has nothing to do with security issues. personal hygiene. The symptoms are caused by the eggs that the mite deposits in small holes in the skin. The parasite can survive 24 to 36 hours outside the human body.

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How is it spread?

Scabies is caught by direct and prolonged contact with the skin of an infected person. The probability that it can be contracted in a hug or brief physical contact is very low. The disease can also be spread through clothing, sharing pieces, towels or sheets with an affected person. The risk of small epidemics is high in closed places such as nurseries, schools, nursing homes or prisons.

Almost half, in nursing homes

Between 2010 and 2017, 115 outbreaks of scabies have been detected in Catalonia, with 947 people affected.

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41% of the outbreaks occurred in nursing homes. This explains why many of the older people affected by itching from the parasite have difficulty being aware that the mite is affecting them, a consequence of their difficult perception of what is happening with their body, especially if they suffer from severe degenerative neurological disorders. All this also means that the contagion is easily transmitted.

This would be the reason for the predominance of nursing homes among the groups usually affected by outbreaks of scabies, consider the doctors. In some cases, it may also be due to a lack of hygiene with the elderly.

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