Scabies- it is raising in US too!

The parasitic infestation, Scabies is said to affect more than 130 million people at any time. If the recent reports are to be believed, the occurrence rate varies from 0.3% to 46%.  Caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis, this skin disease is ruining the health conditions in developing countries. But, this never means that the developed countries are safe from this.

The best way to prove this fact is through the recent stats by Google trends. 

It clearly indicates the growth of interest in the last ten years. Moreover, the regional interest has something more to say. In United States of America, the searches are more as compared to other developed regions of the world.

It is nothing new!

If you think that scabies is due to present lifestyle then you are mistaken. The reason being scabies is not new to the world. It has been present on the Earth surface for over 2500 years ago. Back in the ancient times (the middle ages of Greeks and Romans) it was known as the “itch”. Due to lack of advanced health care services, the major reason of this infectious disease was not determined. 

How it is transmitted?

Generally, scabies is said to transmit from one person to another due to prolonged direct contact with skin. It can be due to shaking hands for long time, sleeping together and number of other reasons. In most of the cases it has been found that transmission of scabies is due to this type of direct contact. In addition, this transmission is highly common from parents to children. Especially, the infants of scabies infested mother become more prone to this skin disorder. 

The second reason of the scabies transmission is through shared clothing, bedding, towels and several other objects which came into contact of the infested person for long period. All these kind of contacts are common in household or day care settings. This is a big reason why scabies transmission is popular in public places such as nursing homes, hospitals, public restrooms, etc. Although the scabies mites cannot fly or jump, yet in typical conditions, these mites can survive off a host for 4 to 7 days. These tiny mites can survive for more time in colder conditions and the female mites can live longer than their male counterparts. 

What are the symptoms? 

As far as the common signs and symptoms are concerned, scabies is identified by intense itching. It might appear weeks after the infestation. It can occur anywhere across your body. And it is said to get severer at night time. Generally, it is followed by the red pimple like rashes. Both, itching and rash can affect much of the body including common sites like the elbow, armpit, wrist, webbing between the fingers, waist, buttocks, etc.

Later, these rashes can turn into tiny blisters (vesicles) and scales. Due to intense itching and scratching these rashes also causes skin sores. In worst case, the sores get infected by bacteria and create more problems for the diseased.

Another major sign of scabies is the presence of tiny burrow beneath the skin. Sometimes these burrows are visible, while in other cases it might not be so clear. Caused by the presence of female scabies mite, which form a tunnel just beneath the surface of your skin, it appears like a line. At times, they appear as tiny raised and crooked lines, which can be grayish-white or skin-colored. In the beginning, these mites are few in number and therefore, it might be difficult to find burrows. You can observe them in the webbing between the fingers, elbow, or knee, or in the shoulder blades.

Hence, if you find any of such symptoms, then it is a wise decision to go for a medical checkup instantly! 

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