Health Department Investigates Local Exposure to Scabies

September 25, 2017

St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is currently responding to confirmed cases of scabies in local healthcare facilities and the possible exposure of additional St. Mary’s County residents. SMCHD is working with the involved facilities and healthcare providers to determine those potentially exposed. Those potentially exposed are being contacted by the involved facilities or the health department.

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The most common symptoms of scabies include itching and a pimple-like skin rash, though these symptoms are not always present. Crusting of the skin may also occur when infections are severe.

The scabies mite is very contagious. It is spread by direct, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies, or by exposure to surfaces (such as bedding and furniture) that was recently used by a person with scabies.

Persons with scabies should receive medical evaluation, confirmatory diagnosis, and quick medical treatment for their infestation to prevent further outbreaks. Household and other close contacts should also be treated at the same time to prevent reinfection. If you think you have been exposed to scabies or if you develop any of the signs or symptoms noted above, please call your primary care doctor or dermatologist to arrange for appropriate evaluation and treatment. There are many possible causes of a rash or itchy skin so it is important to obtain medical evaluation to identify the actual cause.

Additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding scabies is available at