Yes! This is because scabies is highly contagious. It is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. It is important for everyone to understand how scabies can transmit from person-to-person.
Scabies is infectious; it spreads from person to person. Anybody can get it, no matter who you are - unclean, clean, wealthy, or poor. The scabies mites search for places to live on or inside the skin of a human being.
Scabies mites can spread both by direct and indirect contact.
When we say, direct transmission, it implies skin-to-skin contact with the infected person. When it comes to scabies, there are several ways of direct transmission of scabies:
- Prolonged skin-to-skin contact, such as holding hands. The longer a person stays in contact (skin-to-skin) with the patient, the greater are the chances for transmission to occur. However, briefly shaking hands have very less chances in getting the disease transmitted, if the person is not having crusted (more severe form of scabies) scabies.
- Scabies spread more easily in crowded places, such as within homes, childcare centers, colleges, schools, nursing homes, etc., where people are in close contact with one another.
- Having sex or sleeping with an infected person creates a high risk of transmission.
So, when the patient scratches the infected area, there are 90% chances that he/she gets it in their nasal area also. Scabies can spread to others and even to yourself, if proper prevention is not taken.
Although, indirect transmission of scabies is less common than direct skin-to-skin infection, there are still some chances to get infected. This is because scabies mites can
survive only for 48 to 72 hours when not in contact with the skin.
Using the things of the infected person like bedding, towel, clothes, etc. can also sometimes transmit scabies to other family members.
It is therefore very crucial to clean the household things on a regular basis, if any family member is scabies infected.
This is why proper preventive measures are important to avoid further infection to the patient and those who live nearby.
To determine when prophylactic treatment should be given in order to reduce the risk of transmission, the below mentioned points should be checked:
- The type/severity of scabies to which a person has been exposed;
- The degree and extent of skin exposure with the infected person;
- The time when the exposure occurred- whether before or after treating the patient for scabies;
- The work environment where the exposed person works during the incubation period. For example, if a nurse working in a hospital is in the incubation period of scabies, she needs to be treated prophylactically to reduce the risk of further transmission to others. Whether in doubt or surety consult a doctor or a physician as it takes as long as 4-6 weeks for the symptoms to begin.