Scabies is an infection of the skin caused by a mite called sarcoptes scabies and is characterized by intense itching and appears on skin as small bumps, tiny holes or tracks.

Where does it occur?

I t occurs worldwide, but is more common in developing countries.

How is it transmitted?

It is transmitted through direct contact with the skin of infected people (including sexual intercourse), garments and bedding.

Is it contagious from person to person?

YES it is!!

What is the risk for travelers?

The risk is low, unless staying in crowded, unsanitary lodging facilities.

How soon after exposure will one develop symptoms?

Symptoms develop anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms are predominately that of itching of the skin, particularly at night. Lesions appear as tiny bumps, boils, small holes, or tracks. These are prominent around the web of fingers, wrists, armpits, groin and buttocks. Due to intense itching, the lesions may become secondarily infected.

In severe cases, elderly or immune-compromised individuals can see extreme scabbing and crusting over the entire body.

Are there any lab tests to diagnose the illness?

Scraped skin lesions can show the mites under microscopic exam.

Is there any treatment?

Application of Permethrin, tetraethylthiuram monosulfide, 1% gamma benzene hexachloride, or benzyl benzoate creams or liquid is effective to treat this illness.

What preventive measures can be taken?

Avoid lodging that is unsanitary or crowded with unkempt individuals.

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