Scabies outbreaks in the Balearic Islands doubled in the last 12 months

Image of a person with scabies. Credit: Wikipedia - By Sven Teschke - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37900

According to health reports, in the last 12 months, scabies outbreaks in the Balearic Islands have doubled.

 

According to a report today, Tuesday, November 29, outbreaks of scabies outbreaks in the Balearic Islands have doubled. Specifically, the Ministry of Health has detected 16 cases so far in 2022, while in all of 2021 there were only eight.

In the first 11 months of this year, a total of 96 people have been affected by this disease, according to ultimahora.es. This is an increase of 159.45 per cent compared to last year.

Four of the cases reportedly occurred in educational centres, five in homes, three in nursing homes, two in centres for the disabled and the rest in other socio-health and family centres.

Jaume Gimenez, an epidemiologist at the Balearic Islands epidemiology service, argued that one of the reasons why scabies outbreaks have increased is because social relations have recovered after the pandemic.

He stated that in 2019 there were a total of 24 cases. However, in 2020 they dropped to 11, and in 2021 they were reduced to eight. In 2018 only seven were identified and in 2017, five, Gimenez pointed out.

The specialist also suggested that since scabies is not mandatory to report, not all cases are registered. It is only considered to be an outbreak when two or more people are affected he clarified.

In relation to outbreaks in schools, Gimenez explained that it usually affects very few children. The most numerous are usually those that occur in residences.

This is due to the contact of the users being much closer as they are people living together, and, generally, with a high level of dependency that motivates the contact to be closer.

What is scabies and how is it spread?

Scabies is a mite that penetrates the skin and, very superficially, makes a groove where it deposits eggs, faeces, or urine. Its transmission is very easy. From the moment a person becomes infected until the time they start itching usually takes between four and six weeks.

The most common form of contagion is through the fingernails since the affected person scratches and moves the eggs from one place to another, causing injuries. Eggs stay on the person’s clothes and only die after three days without contact.

In order for contagion to occur, there must be intimate, skin-to-skin contact. For this reason, it is essential that when a case is diagnosed in a family, all its members undergo treatment at the same time. Clothing should be isolated in plastic bags or washed at 60º and then put in the dryer.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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 [email protected]

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