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Scabies reported at Fort Hays

4/18/2013

By The Hays Daily News

By The Hays Daily News

Fort Hays State University has confirmed three cases of students with the skin parasite scabies. Scabies usually is passed by direct, prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infested person.

The university is identifying others who might have been exposed to scabies.

Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland had an outbreak of scabies last week and temporarily closed the campus. However, Ellis County Public Health Administrator Butch Schlyer advised this morning it would be sufficient to treat affected individuals and it was not necessary to close the FHSU campus.

Individuals infested with scabies remain infectious for approximately eight hours after treatment and should not come into direct contact with other people during that period.

Informational meetings for students will be conducted at 7 p.m. today in the main lobby of Agnew Hall and at 8 in the Red Room at Wiest Hall.

Any FHSU students, faculty or staff who think they might have scabies should contact the Student Health Center or their personal doctor.

Scabies is treatable with a prescription ointment. Treatment is being arranged for everyone who might be affected. Appropriate steps are being taken to clean affected areas and materials, such as clothing, bedding and towels, that can harbor the parasite.

Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.

Scabies occurs worldwide and affects people of all races and social classes and can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent. Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks.