June 19, 2008
Report Claims Scabies Outbreak at Rehab Center
By Shelley Terry, Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio
Jun. 19--AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP -- Health officials are looking into reports of a scabies outbreak at a local nursing home.
"We're aware (of the situation) and in contact with the staff," said Jay Becker, of the county health department's bioterrorism/ contagious-disease division.
The nursing facility's administrator, Evan Hamilton, said he was not aware of any scabies problem. He refused to comment any further on the reports.
Scabies is a fairly common infectious skin disease caused by a mite that burrows into the skin, producing red pimple-like irritations. It is usually transferred by skin-to-skin contact, with transfer from undergarments or bedclothes occurring only if these materials have been contaminated by infected people immediately beforehand.
The presence of scabies only can be confirmed after a physician performs a skin scraping procedure and the sample is tested, although a doctor familiar with the condition often can diagnose an infestation by the appearance and symptoms, according to the Merck Manual.
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