Doctors warn of ‘hidden epidemic’

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Doctors in Spain warn of ‘hidden epidemic’, as a worrying increase is seen in the number of cases of scabies since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Concern has been expressed by multiple health centres in Spain due to the drastic increase in the number of cases of scabies that they have seen recently. Scabies is a contagious skin condition and is caused by mites. The disease can cause skin rashes and also severe itching.

According to Miquel Casals, who is a paediatric dermatologist at the Parc Taulli hospital in Spain’s Sabadell, he has seen more cases recently than he has in the rest of his career. “The incidence (of cases of scabies) has shot up so much since the pandemic began that I have seen more cases now than in my entire professional life of 20 years”.

To many people the disease is “considered something dirty and ugly” said the doctor and highlighted that “it is an epidemic that is hidden”.

Due to the hidden nature of the disease there are “no indications from the health department, and this is a disaster because primary care is very short of resources” said Casals.

The doctor believes that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the increase in contagions. Due to the fact that people have been quarantined together in close quarters it has become easier for scabies to spread.

The majority of cases that have been spotted have happened in large families, student halls of residence or in students who share flats. All these close living arrangements facilitate the transmission.

According to the Doctor scabies used to be seen “from time to time” but is now being discovered in “all kinds of people”.

The doctor added that: “The pandemic has created the breeding ground for this to happen”, as reported 20 minutes.

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at