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Human scabies is not a reportable disease in Oklahoma; however, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will work with facilities to provide educational materials if an infestation of human scabies is identified.  Scabies is caused by a parasitic insect, the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis).  These microscopic mites burrow in the upper layers of the skin where they live and lay eggs.

The symptoms of scabies include a red, pimple-like rash and itching, which can be more severe at night.  Nodules or vesicles may also be seen.  Tiny burrows can sometimes be seen as crooked grayish-white or skin colored thread-like lines on the skin surface.  Common sites for scabies are between the fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits, shoulder blades, breasts, waist, buttocks, and genitalia.  In children younger than 2 years of age, a rash can appear on scalp, face, neck, palms, and soles.  Scratching of pimples or vesicles can cause sores that can develop secondary bacterial infections.

When a person is exposed to scabies for the first time, symptoms may not appear for up to 2 months after being infected.  People who have had scabies previously may show symptoms as soon as 1-4 days.  It is important to remember that an infected person can still transmit scabies to others even when there are no apparent symptoms.  Scabies is transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person infected with scabies. Scabies can be easily transmitted to sexual partners or to other household members.  The use of shared items - such as clothing, towels, or bedding of an infected person – can spread scabies infection.  Scabies spreads more rapidly in crowded, institutionalized settings such as childcare facilities, nursing homes, extended-care facilities, and prisons.  Suspected scabies should be reported to your healthcare practitioner immediately so that prompt diagnosis and treatment can reduce the chance of spread.

Scabies is a skin condition caused by infestation with a tiny parasite Sarcoptes scabiei, also known as a mite. Scabies mites burrow under the skin, producing pimple-like bumps, which can develop into a rash. It can occur in all levels of socioeconomic groups or personal hygiene. Scabies spreads more easily in crowded settings or where frequent skin-to-skin contact occurs such as long-term care facilities, institutions, and childcare centers.

Scabies is not a reportable disease in Oklahoma. 

You can prevent scabies by avoiding physical contact with people who have scabies and their belongings, especially clothing and bedding. Early proper treatment of infested persons is extremely important to stop the spread of scabies. People who have had skin-to-skin contact with infected people should also be treated to prevent infestation.

Skin lotions are available from a doctor for the treatment of scabies. The lotions are applied to the whole body except the head and neck and left on the skin until the next day before bathing. All clothes and linens need to be laundered at that time as well. Clothes and bedding should be washed in hot water. In some situations, retreatment seven to 10 days later may be needed. All affected persons in a household or setting must be treated at the same time for effective treatment when more than one person has scabies. Even though the treatment is working, itching may continue for a few days after treatment.

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