scabies
SCABIES
Scabies is a contagious disease caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis.
The affected individual usually complains of having a highly pruritic rash that occurs at night.
It occurs more often in children <15 years of age, sexually active young adults, the immunocompromised and in persons living in crowded living conditions (eg nursing homes, military barracks).
Transmission is typically by direct skin contact with an infected person and in adults, sexual transmission is common.

Introduction

  • Diagnosis is made based on clinical presentation & can be confirmed by microscopic identification of mites, eggs or mite feces
  • Scabies should be suspected in a patient who presents w/ a highly pruritic rash w/ nocturnal predominance
    • Scabies is highly suggested if there is also a history of contact w/ an infected person or if there is a history of contact w/ family member or sexual partner who has pruritic lesions w/ nocturnal predominance
  • Scabies is caused by the mite: Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis

Signs and Symptoms

Clinical Presentation

  • Occurs more often in children <15 yr, sexually active young adults, the immunocompromised & in persons living in crowded living conditions (eg nursing homes, military barracks)
  • Transmission is typically by direct skin contact w/ an infected person & in adults, sexual transmission is common
    • Though there is limited documentation, transmission by fomites may be possible (esp in cases of crusted scabies where a large amt of parasites are involved)
    • The mites can live for up to 30 days on a host & remain alive for 3 days on furniture, bedding etc
Signs & Symptoms
  • Primary symptom is generalized pruritus, which is usually worse at night
    • Pruritus is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to the mite & its products (saliva, eggs & feces) once the host becomes sensitized
    • Hypersensitivity occurs 4-6 wk after infestation but occurs in 1-4 days w/ re-infestation because the host has been previously sensitized
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