Scabies, a highly itchy and contagious skin condition, has been reported at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health.
One case was confirmed at the Montgomery County hospital on Nov. 6, and since then, several possible cases have arisen, according to hospital spokesperson Linda Millevoi.
“Seven additional patients are exhibiting symptoms and are being isolated and treated,” Millevoi said Thursday. “Staff members who delivered direct care to these patients and are exhibiting signs, symptoms, or concerns have also been provided treatment.”
No patients have been transferred to other facilities, Millevoi said. The hospital is following federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for isolation procedures.
In addition, Millevoi said, the county Department of Health “has reviewed and approved Abington Hospital’s action plan for managing this outbreak, which includes heightened surveillance for early detection of new cases and aggressive infection control measures.”
Scabies is caused by mites that burrow under the skin and lay eggs. The condition is characterized by intense itching that is often most acute at night. It’s often accompanied by a pimple- or blister-like rash that can affect many parts of the body, including between the fingers, the wrists, the armpits, the elbows, the waist, the buttocks, the shoulders, and the genitals.
In babies and very young children, the affected areas tend to be the head, face, neck, palms, and soles of the feet.
Scabies is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the condition. It can be passed on indirectly by sharing clothing, towels, or bedding.
Usually, it takes from two to six weeks for symptoms to appear after a person is first infested with the mites, according to the CDC.
Scabies is treated with prescription topical ointments that can kill the mites. Bedding, clothes, and towels used by infected individuals should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer or dry cleaned.
Earlier this fall, a scabies outbreak was confirmed at Radnor Middle School, with an additional case at Radnor Elementary School