COMBATING INFECTION: The truth about scabies

February 2007 
Volume 37  Number 2
Pages 28 - 30
  PDF Version Available!



Michelle Snow is working on her PhD in public health at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Web sites last accessed on January 4, 2007. Figure. The short burrow characteristic of scabies can be straight or curved and may end in a tiny vesicle.

IN MY CAREER, I've identified and cared for patients with scabies on several occasions. One case involved seven residents of an upscale extended-care facility. Some staff members were so afraid of contracting scabies that they refused to enter the wing. This provided me with a wonderful teaching opportunity for patients, families, and staff. In this article, I'll share the truth about scabies with you.

Mighty mites

Scabies is a contagious parasitic infestation caused by microscopic mites (about 0.3 mm in length) named Sarcoptes scabiei . 1 Someone with a scabies infestation may be harboring from 3 to 50 mites (the average is 10 to 15 mites per host).

A more severe infestation of scabies, ...

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