PARENTS have been warned to look out for the signs of a 'Victorian disease' amid fears cases are on the rise.
Scabies is a skin condition caused by an infestation of tiny mites.
It's not a particularly serious condition – but it does need immediate treatment.
Public health chiefs are urging people to be vigilant in looking out for symptoms of the infection as cases of the bug rise in Britain.
Norfolk's Director for Public Health, Stuart Lines, said that by taking action early, it can prevent it becoming a more widespread issue.
He said: "Here in Norfolk we’re fortunate to have a very low incidence of scabies.
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"We have seen cases of scabies reported elsewhere in the country and because we know that the sooner a case is treated, the sooner it clears up, we advise everyone to be vigilant, particularly children and young people in educational settings.
"This way we can ensure that any cases that do emerge in Norfolk are identified quickly and contained early."
The most recent data on the infection rate of scabies in the UK suggests incidences of the bug has fallen.
UK Health Security Agency figures on the parasite, which are combined with public lice, suggest that cases have dropped by 61 per cent been 2017 and 2021 – from 2249 cases to 874.
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But data for 2022 has not yet been made public.
However, since the UK Covid lockdowns, cases of several nasty viruses have surged, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu.
What are the symptoms?
- intense itching, especially at night
- a raised rash or spots
The spots may look red. They are more difficult to see on dark skin, but you should be able to feel them.
The scabies rash usually spreads across the whole body, apart from the head.
However, older people, young children and those with a weakened immune system may develop a rash on their head and neck.
How to treat scabies
Scabies is not usually a serious condition, but it does need to be treated.
According to the NHS website, a pharmacist will recommend a cream or lotion that you apply over your whole body. It's important to read the instructions carefully.
You'll need to repeat the treatment one week later.
Scabies is very infectious, but it can take up to eight weeks for the rash to appear.
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Everyone in your home needs to be treated at the same time, even if they do not have symptoms.
Although scabies is not a sexually transmitted infection, anyone you have had sexual contact with in the past 8 weeks should also be treated.
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