More and more scabies cases in Germany - this is how the risk of infection can be reduced
The number of scabies cases in Germany has increased significantly in recent months. The risk of contracting the itchy skin disease is particularly high in kindergartens and schools. Health experts explain how the risk of infection can be reduced.
Infectious skin disease is spreading
Many people think that scabies has long been a thing of the past in Germany, but there have always been phases in which the itchy skin disease has returned. There have been more and more cases of scabies infections in schools recently. And just a few months ago, an entire ward in a Bonn clinic had to be closed due to scabies cases. The Barmer health insurance company also recently reported that scabies is clearly on the rise again in Germany.
Scabies can be transmitted from person to person
As the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) explains on its portal "infektionsschutz.de", scabies, medically referred to as scabies, is a contagious skin disease caused by the itch mite of humans.
It can be transmitted from person to person as well as from animal to person and via clothing or objects.
The disease is usually not dangerous, but extremely uncomfortable for those affected.
Signs of disease from scabies
Burning the skin and itching, which is particularly pronounced in bed warmth, are often the first signs of scabies, according to the BZgA.
“The itching can even spread to skin regions that are not directly from
Itch mites are affected, ”the experts write on their portal.
Accordingly, the spaces between fingers and toes, wrists, ankles, armpits, elbows, nipples and genitals are primarily affected.
The hairy head, face and palms of the hands and feet can also be affected, particularly in infants and young children.
In addition, injured skin can purulently ignite due to scratching. With prolonged infestation, a large-scale itchy rash with blister-sized blisters, reddened raised nodules or pustules can develop in response to the mite's excretions.
Prescribed significantly more scabies medication
An analysis by the Barmer health insurance indicates that the scabies is clearly on the rise again in this country.
According to this, the number of prescriptions for important scabies medication among the Barmer insured rose by 60 percent between 2016 and 2017.
"The doctors are again prescribing significantly more scabies medication, in all regions of Germany. The number of sick people is likely to have risen similarly, ”said Dr. Utta Petzold, dermatologist at Barmer.
The cash register points out that one should quickly see a doctor at the first signs of scabies, such as reddened papules in the genital area, between the fingers or in the armpits and especially nighttime itching.
This way, the transmission risk can be reduced
“An infection with scabies can affect everyone and does not automatically have to do with hygiene. The sick can infect other people through physical contact if they still have no symptoms, ”explains Petzold.
The itch mite can spread particularly easily in daycare centers. Since itch mites could survive outside the human body for a few days, the expert advises those affected and their contacts to change their clothes and bed linen daily and wash them at a temperature of at least 60 degrees.
Towels should be replaced immediately after use. Non-washable items should be packed airtight for seven to 14 days. It also makes sense to vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses every day with a powerful vacuum cleaner.
"You should also avoid physical contact with people suffering from scabies and not sleep in the same bed," advises Petzold. (ad)