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.
Austinburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 2026 Route 45, is being investigated by the Ohio Department of Health, officials in Columbus said Wednesday. The Ashtabula County Health Department also has received phone calls on the matter.
"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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