You may be surprised to know that scabies is one of the most talked about parasitic skin condition on the internet. There are many posts indicating the spread of scabies from hotel bedding. Some people believe that scabies spread only in communities with poor hygiene or poor living conditions. But it’s not true, there are an estimated 300 million cases of scabies throughout the world and one million are from the United States only. This condition has nothing to do with caste, community, social status, or hygiene level.
Pic Credit:– tarriss.com
It spreads from an infested person to a non-affected individual by direct skin-to-skin contact. Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis is the parasitic species responsible for infesting human body and causing scabies. The female itch mite tends to burrow deep into the layers of your skin for laying eggs and this leads to very itchy skin with the presence of skin rashes. The symptoms of scabies are not likely to develop until two to six weeks after the initial exposure but an affected person can transmit the mites even in that stage.
Scabies transmission from a hotel room:
Reportedly, a woman, E. Sturges, has reviewed a motel stating that she contracted scabies from its bedding. She was even reimbursed for her room, but not for her medical bills. If you even type “scabies from the hotel” on Google, you can find so many cases stating similar reviews. While human-to-human contact is the most prevalent way of transmitting scabies mites, but we often neglect the fact that these mites can survive for up to 72 hours without a host body. So, there are chances that the mites are living on the hotel bed used by guests staying in the room before you.
If the hotel guest who was staying in your room before you had scabies, there is a very high chance that even you may catch scabies. Most scabies cases are not even reported as people carrying scabies mites themselves may not be aware of this condition unless symptoms start appearing a few weeks after the exposure. Therefore, there are chances that you stayed in a hotel room, caught scabies, and the signs began showing up after a few weeks.
Pic Credit:- tripadvisor.com
How to protect yourself and your family from scabies infestation?
Scabies mites are very tiny in size ranging from 0.25mm – 0.45mm, so they are impossible to see with the naked human eye. You won’t be able to detect scabies on the bed linen, so your best line of defense against scabies is a barrier protection. Firstly, inspect if the bed linens are fresh. If you suspect the bed sheets are not clean, ask the hotel staff to change your room or find another hotel.
Another good way is to carry a barrier travel sheet of a small pore size when staying in a hotel. You can purchase a good travel sheet through companies like Allersac.com to form a protective barrier against scabies, bedbugs, and lice. Also, remember to purchase a travel sheet that cannot be damaged by washing in hot water or drying in the hot drying cycle.
Such simple precautions and products are very helpful in making your traveling experience safer and healthier.
Once diagnosed with scabies, you can apply creams or lotions that are termed as scabicides. Permethrin 5% is the prescribed medicine for treatment of scabies. Another good cream for treating scabies is Dr. Scabies – a homeopathic formulation. Using this creams consecutively for seven days will definitely help you in eradicating the itch mites. You must follow the instructions given by your doctor for faster relief.