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Scabies

This is an infectious skin condition caused by an 8 legged bug called mite. According to  WHO, It’s a water related disease. 

The bug is so tiny that you hardly notice it on the surface of the skin. It burrows into the top layer of the  skin, where it feeds and lives. 

Any negative reaction of the skin to its existence on it, leads to an extremely itchy rash. The mite can survive 3-4 days outside the body of the host.

Infection requires 4 – 6 weeks to be symptomatic. But symptoms of reinfection may manifest as early as 24hours.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION.

Since this disease is contagious, it can be spread via the following ways ;

  • Scratching infected area and hence picking the mite under the finger nail
  • Physical contact with an infected person for a long period of time.
  • Through contacts with objects such as clothing,furniture,& beddings of an infected person.
  • Through sexual intercourse, despite the use of latex condom.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Itching ; worse at night/warmth.
  • Rash ; occur in hand,feet,wrist,elbow,buttocks, external genital, under the breast.
  • Sores

WHO CAN CONTRACT SCABIES?

  • People in nursery homes
  • People in extended care facility
  • People of all race & age
  • People with weak immune system
  • Hospitalized patients
  • People who have received organ transplant.

DIAGNOSIS 

Clinical diagnosis include;

  • Use of dermoscopy to directly examine the skin
  • By scrapping the suspected area and mounting it in potassium hydroxide and then view it under a microscope . ( the scabies mite, eggs/ fecal pellet could be found).
  • Application of ink from a fountain pen, or topical tetracycline solution which is then wiped off with an alcohol pad . (this displays the pattern of the mite burrow).

WHO SHOULD BE TREATED?

  • The person diagnosed with the skin condition
  • Those who have had close contact with the diagnosed person.
  • Anyone who lives with the infected person
  • Recent sexual partner.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT SCABIES.

  • burrow pattern is S- shaped & linear with rows of small pimple like mosquito or insect bite.
  • A person who has never had scabies often do not have any sign or symptoms for 2 – 6 weeks.
  • Most people will not get scabies from a handshake or hug, the skin – skin contact must be long enough for the mite to crawl from one host to another.

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