HONOLULU (KHON2) – KHON2 News has confirmed an outbreak of scabies at Kona Community Hospital on Big Island.
A hospital spokesman said the outbreak was confirmed on Monday, November 19.
The hospital says it is working with the Hawaii State Department of Health.
Authorities did not say how many people were infected with scabies, but they said in a statement:
"We implemented procedures and protocols according to our policies for any outbreak of infection. Our Acting Executive Director of Nursing and Director of Infection Prevention has coordinated the management of the outbreak ever since."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, scabies is a skin infestation by the human mite.
The microscopic scabby mite penetrates the upper layer of skin where it lives and lays its eggs.
The most common symptoms of scabies are severe itching and a rash-like rash.
The scabies mite is usually transmitted by direct and prolonged contact, skin to skin with a person who has scabies.
If you have never had mange, symptoms can take four to six weeks to appear.
"Presumably in a hospital, it is brought by a patient. It is transmitted to a healthcare provider and highly contagious. Health care providers can pass it on to other health care providers and even potentially to others patients. We are taking the best precautions with handwashing and gloves, it is transmissible, "said Dr. James Ireland with John A. Burns School of Medicine.