7th Feb 2024 @ 8:23 am

Two outbreaks of scabies were detected last month, occurring in nursing homes and schools. It’s important not the panic and to remember the steps to follow if you think you are showing symptoms.

It’s not the first time that cases of scabies have been detected on the island, there were cases in 2023. “Last year some were detected, but it is nothing to worry about”, Epidemiologist, Eduardo García-Ramos, explained to La Voz.

Scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs, causing intense itching and a rash.

The most annoying part of scabies is its effects – the instinctive urge to scratch is what can cause breaks in the skin. “It is the skin lesions and the scratching itself that require attention”, García-Ramos added.


Identifying the symptoms of scabies early is crucial. Within the first 24 hours it only affects the skin and therefore is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to be put on the correct treatment (Permethrin cream is most commonly used to treat scabies.)

Following this it is important to wash the clothes that you had worn in the time that you may have caught scabies, to avoid catching it again. “You have to wash the clothes at 60 degrees Celsius to kill the scabies mites”, García-Ramos stated.

It is important to remember that scabies is spread by prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies but can also be spread by coming into contact with clothing, bedding, or towels used by a person with scabies, but such spread is uncommon unless the infected person has crusted scabies.

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