Scabies Outbreak In Hawaiian Hospital

There’s a scabies outbreak at a hospital in Hawaii and staff acting fast! People within the hospital report having symptoms of the highly contagious skin ailment.

On Nov. 19, it was first confirmed by a spokeswoman for Kona Community Hospital. However, due to employee and patient privacy, she chose not to disclose how many people have been infected.

The hospital is in Kealakekua. Anyone who has been to the hospital recently has been contacted and have received treatment for the infection.

Scabies comes about when a microscopic mite digs into a person’s skin and lays their eggs. Doing so causes an itchy rash. According to the CDC, the skin rash is extremely contagious. People spread the disease by skin to skin contact as well as clothes, furniture, and linen.

Scabies Outbreak In Hawaii Has Staff Scrambling For Ointment

It takes around one to two months typically for symptoms to appear. However, during that time, someone with scabies can pass it on to someone else. Rashes tend to occur on a person’s wrists, elbows or armpit, or between their fingers.

Aggressively scratching the rash can cause skin sores to appear. The skin sores and lead to staph and other bacterial infections. Prescription ointment works best to treat scabies.

As a means to contain and mitigate the outbreak, the staff at Kona Community Hospital are following all necessary steps. Lisa Downing, the director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health at the hospital days that they are still fighting the outbreak.

As of now, no one knows where the outbreak began.

Downing says that when something likes this occurs, it doesn’t come from one isolated incident. She says their the staff at their facility do whatever it takes to keep their patients safe.

Currently, the state health department has not responded to any requests for comment.