Cases of scabies confirmed at Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University (KSN File Photo)
Fort Hays State University (KSN File Photo)

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HAYS, Kansas — Some Fort Hays State University students are a little concerned after school officials confirmed several cases of scabies on campus.

“We have three students who were having problems with itching and it turns out that they have scabies,” said Kent Steward, University Relations Director, FHSU.

Scabies usually is passed by direct, prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infested person, and the university is identifying others who may have been exposed to scabies.

Any FHSU students, faculty or staff who think they might have scabies should contact the Student Health Center or their personal doctor.

The school is treating infected individuals with a cream.

“The people who have been treated need to stay away from direct contact with other people for about eight hours,” said Steward.

Last week, Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland had an outbreak of scabies last week and temporarily closed the campus.

However, Ellis County Public Health Administrator Butch Schlyer advised this morning that it would be sufficient to treat affected individuals and that it was not necessary to close the FHSU campus.

Informational meetings for students will be conducted at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the main lobby of Agnew Hall and at 8 p.m. in the Red Room at Wiest Hall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.

Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent. Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks.

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