On Thursday, Sept. 28, district officials were informed that a student at Liberty Elementary School has a confirmed case of scabies.
Scabies is an infestation of the skin by a human itch mite. These mites burrow under the person’s skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The mite is transferred person to person by PROLONGED contact of the skin to another person. Prolonged, meaning, people who sleep together, household members and sometimes people who share towels (athletes), bedding.
Scabies usually is expected when there is a rash and intense itching. It is curable, but you have to get a prescription from your doctor after the doctor gives the diagnosis of scabies. There is no “over-the-counter” medication for this. Sometimes it may take a couple of treatments to totally cure the infestation. All people in the home of a person that has been diagnosed need to be treated.
If you suspect you or your child may have scabies, please contact your doctor and be tested. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sullivan County Public Health Services at (845) 292-5910 or your primary health care provider.
This notification, along with the following information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of scabies will be sent home to all parents.
The primary symptom of scabies is severe itching, which often is so bad that it keeps people awake at night. The itching is caused as the female mite burrows into the skin, lays eggs, and produces toxins that cause allergic reactions. Small red bumps (that look like tiny pimples or tiny bites) can form on the skin.
The most common area for scabies to develop on the body are warmer sites such as skin folds, areas where clothing is tight (like the belt line or the buttocks), on the penis or around the nipples.
Excessive scratching may lead to bacterial infections of the skin in people who have scabies.
Scabies is diagnosed when a doctor looks at the rash on your skin to determine whether or not you have mites, eggs or fecal matter from the mites under your skin.
Scabies is treated with a lotion that is applied to a clean body and the lotion must be left on for eight hours, usually overnight, and then washed off. The person must put on clean clothes. All clothing, bedding and towels used by the people in the home should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Seven to ten days after this, a second treatment of the body with the same lotion is usually given. Although itching may continue for two weeks after the treatments, it does not mean the infestation is still active. Another option is a pill, ivermectin, which is as effective as the creams and does not make a mess. The medicine is given twice over a week.
Anyone who is diagnosed with scabies needs to be treated. In addition, anyone who has had close contact with the person in the past month should also be treated. A family should all be treated at the same time to prevent reinfestation.