April 12, 2013
The Northwest Kansas Techical College campus in Goodland is closed until Tuesday as public health officials investigate and treat cases of scabies.
On Tuesday afternoon, a student reported a case of scabies to Northwest Tech administration and additional cases were reported Wednesday afternoon. Northwest Tech administration met
immediately with the Sherman County Health Department to develop a plan of action for addressing the scabies concern and preventing further cases.
All students, faculty, and staff are being checked for scabies and educated on the condition this morning in a clinic set up in the Medical Assistant building on campus.
Scabies is a contagious skin rash caused by a
parasite human itch mite.
“Scabies is not a result of being unclean, everyone is equally susceptible,” explained Donna Terry, Sherman County Health Department Administrator, “Center for Disease Control does not consider scabies as a reportable disease.”
The life span of scabies mites is 48 to 72 hours without a human host; therefore, by treating those with scabies as soon as possible and closing the college for four days should prevent the mites from spreading.
Patients can obtain treatment at either the County Health Department or the Goodland Family Health Center.
Symptoms can include a rash area with dry or flaking edges, which might first appear as a small blister along with extreme itching. Typically symptoms will occur one week after exposure; however may not appear for up to 21 days. Symptoms may occur between fingers, at wrist, elbow, and shoulders, between
shoulder blades, around breasts, at waistline and in genital areas, at knees, ankles and feet.
Treatment is a prescription cream that is applied from head to toe after showering, left on for eight to 14 hours and then rinsed off. All clothing, bedding and other cloth surfaces such as mattresses and seats should be washed and dried at hot temperatures or vacuumed. Hard surfaces can be wiped cleaned with disinfectant wipes.