What to Know
- Seventeen students were diagnosed with scabies at Radnor Middle School while one student was diagnosed at Radnor Elementary School.
- A local doctor believes the outbreak was caused by a camping trip some of the students attended.
- Custodians are currently disinfecting classrooms in both schools in order to contain the spread.
Officials are working to contain a scabies outbreak in a local school district after at least 18 students were diagnosed with the infectious disease.
A spokesperson for the Radnor Township School District sent an email and letter to parents informing them that 17 students were diagnosed with scabies at Radnor Middle School while one student was diagnosed at Radnor Elementary School.
"Please note that any student with the signs and symptoms of scabies will be excluded from school unless a note from a healthcare provider is provided that states the student(s) is/are under treatment,” the district spokesperson wrote. “Affected areas of the skin must also be covered in order for the student(s) to return to school.”
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Dr. Emiliano Tatar of Nemours duPont Pediatrics believes the outbreak was caused by a camping trip some of the students attended.
“They all hung out together which is the typical story for scabies,” he said. “Some of those kids are our patients and we did see a few of them.”
Scabies is caused by a mite, a tiny insect normally not visible to the naked eye, that burrows under the skin and lays eggs. An itchy rash consisting of raised tracts, bumps or blisters may appear on parts of the body, including between fingers, wrists, elbows, armpits, waistline, thighs and genitalia.
Scabies also causes excessive itching, with the most intense itching being at night.
“You pass it from person to person by direct contact,” Dr. Tatar said. “And what it causes are little red bumps or marks on the skin that can be scabbed over.”
The incubation period is two to six weeks before itching occurs or one to four days after re-exposure. Dr. Tatar told NBC10 scabies is treated with a topical prescription.
“You apply that cream from scalp to soles, every part of the body and then usually we tell you to sleep overnight with it on, because it needs to be on for eight to ten hours,” Dr. Tatar said. “And then you just rinse it off in the morning and soon after that the infection goes away.”
Custodians are currently disinfecting classrooms in both schools in order to contain the spread.
For more information on scabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.