Scabies spread worries hostels

Last Updated 03 July 2019, 13:37 IST

A group of seven students were rushed to the ESIC hospital here early this month. All of them were suffering from Scabies, experiencing similar lesions, itching and skin irritation. These were students from Tumakuru residing in the same hostel.

Scabies, a contagious skin infestation caused by mites, has made a comeback. As the humidity has gone up, cases reported are on the rise. This year, it has been serious across the state in comparison to the previous years, say experts.

The disease has surfaced in government and private hostels across the state. Doctors blame overcrowding and poor hygiene in the hostels for the high number of cases.

Dr Girish M S, head, skin department, ESIC hospital, said he had been seeing at least 10 patients every week in the recent past. “The numbers are higher than usual,” he said.

The cases that he is attending to are mostly from Tumakuru and Mysuru. “The itching worsens at night, making it very difficult for the patient to bear,” he explained.

‘Don’t share towels’

Girish said it is common for these students to share towels and bedspreads in hostels, making it difficult to contain the disease.

“Hostels, especially the ones which house a large number of students, report a high number of complaints,” said sources in the department of health and family welfare.

Dr T A Veerabhadraiah, district surgeon, Tumakuru, said the numbers have been high across the state.

“In the hostels and stay facilities, for instance the religious ones or community centres, there is a problem. A lot of students from villages stay here and they have little awareness,” he said.

Veerabhadraiah said most of these students wash clothes in cold water which leads to relapse or further spread. “There are hostels where over 20 are staying in a single large room. It is contagious here,” he said.

Simple medication

Applying Benzyl Benzoate, which is a simple lotion, will solve the problem. However, all students should be given medication at the same time. If applied once in a month for three days, Scabies can be controlled,” he said.

(Published 27 June 2019, 17:16 IST)

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