Osakidetza finds ‘significant increase’ in cases of scabies in Donostia

Osakidetsa has found a “significant increase” in cases of scabies in San Sebastian in recent months, a situation also confirmed by the municipal public health department. With this scenario in mind, and in an effort to stop the spread of infections, the city council of Donostia launched an awareness campaign about scabies, commonly known as scabies, a “highly contagious” disease. It is a parasitic skin infection that is common throughout the world. It is caused by a tiny tick (sarcorptes scabiei) invisible to the naked eye. Man is its only reservoir. It is spread between people through prolonged skin-to-skin contact (at least 15 minutes) and by sharing items such as towels or sheets. Transmission usually occurs in closed communities such as homes or residences. It can also be transmitted sexually. This is a disease that is difficult to detect, the main symptoms of which are itching and the appearance of small furrows on the skin, which increase at night.

The San Sebastian City Council’s statement explains that the municipal public health department, through Erlaunian task forces, has detected “an increase in cases and reports of scabies” in the city, which is also known to the government. . “In Osakidetze itself, there has been a significant increase in cases of scabies or scabies in San Sebastian,” the consistory of San Sebastian points out in a note. It is a “highly contagious” disease that prompted the city council of the capital of Gipuzkoa to launch a prevention campaign under the slogan “Information scabies does not itch”, completely changing the traditional saying “Pleasure scabies does not itch”. Health centers, homes, sports centers, libraries and pharmacies already have posters and informational pamphlets about this disease.

The Consistory of San Sebastian insists that the purpose of this campaign “is not to create any kind of alarm”, but it notes that “it has been appreciated, especially in relation to consultations in outpatient clinics and pharmacies, that the public is turning to them with questions.” for remedies before the spread of itching, the cause of which is associated with an increase in the incidence of this disease, which can affect anyone.

As it happens, last May 225 pharmacists from Gipuzkoa received special training to learn how to deal with the disease, given the increase in cases reported in recent years. The goal, the pharmacists told the newspaper at the time, was to provide “better customer service” and have the tools to stop the disease in time before it leads to a “pandemic or mass spread.”

“With treatment, it is easy to deal with it”

Pharmacist Carla Arismendi, a member of Dermofarmacia and one of the speakers at the training, explained to DV a few weeks ago that the discovery of a case of scabies by a pharmacist should be accompanied by a visit to the doctor. “This is a disease that needs to be analyzed and is easily confused with others such as rosacea or allergies to certain foods or materials,” he noted.

Both pharmacists and dermatologists emphasize the importance of identifying and treating an infection as soon as possible. In people who have not previously been in contact with a tick, the incubation period is from 2 to 6 weeks. In people who have previously been infected, it ranges from 1 to 4 days. Cases are contagious during the incubation period and until the eggs and mites are destroyed after treatment.

This is a difficult disease, but if the treatment and indications are followed, it is easy to fight it,” said Arismendi. The pharmacological treatment for scabies is the application of a permethrin cream. “It is important that it be applied all over the body, from the head down,” and children “should apply it all over the body, including the head.” In addition, non-drug treatment is important, which consists in exhaustive washing of everything that has been in contact with the patient.

Recall that in October last year, Osakidetza announced that, given the increase in cases of scabies in the Basque Country, he was going to introduce Covid trackers to combat this disease.

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