Multiple school districts confirm scabies cases

Multiple school districts confirm scabies cases
Photo of a scabie under a microscope. (Source: file video)

CUMBERLAND Co., Va. (WWBT) - The number of local scabies cases is growing with several school districts confirming multiple cases.

On Oct. 18, Powhatan County Public Schools confirmed a case at Pocahontas Elementary School.

The school system says it has taken precautions to clean the school and “the necessary school bus.”

Earlier this month, Cumberland County Public Schools announced that it was dealing with eight cases. Dr. Elizabeth Jamerson, the district’s director of Human Resources, confirmed up to 13 cases.

The affected people include students and teachers at the elementary, middle, and high schools.

“The school division and families in the community must work together to prevent further spreading. This is not something the school can do just on their own," said. Dr. Amy Griffin, Cumberland superintendent.

Griffin released a video message, saying that the school buildings are being cleaned regularly, and buses are being wiped down daily.

In Buckingham County, Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks says two cases have been reported in the Buckingham Primary School and Buckingham Preschool Center. Crews in Buckingham conducting deep cleaning of schools and buses.

“It’s very common among school-aged people and people in clustered areas,” said pediatrician Dr. Sandra Bell.

Dr. Bell has treated her fair share of scabies cases in her 40 years as a doctor. She says the mites tend to pop up during the spring and warm falls.

“It can vary in its presentation among adults and children. In children, classically, its armpits, groins, anywhere elastic bands will touch,” Dr. Bell said.

She adds that it can be cured with medicated shampoos and ointments. Untreated, however, it can be a gateway to worse conditions.

“The itching is the most profound thing. People just can’t stand the itching. And from itching, there comes scratching. From scratching, there comes infection, and then you get into a vicious cycle,” the doctor said.

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