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Scabies outbreak reported at South Kitsap High

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PORT ORCHARD — Students at South Kitsap High School found out recently there was an outbreak of scabies. It’s a skin infestation caused by mites that can spread from person-to-person contact.

“It sounded kind of gross,” student Austin Jones said Monday. “Bugs are gross in my opinion, I don’t really want them on me, ever.”

scabiesA letter was sent home to parents on Nov. 1 alerting them to the symptoms: itchy red bumps on the skin and a rash.

James Woodson immediately checked his kids.

“I went and asked them if they had any rashes or anything,” he said. “You can’t be too careful now.”

James Hendrickson didn’t get the warning, because his kids are still in elementary school. But he thinks the school district should have alerted everyone in Port Orchard.

“Everybody should know, because kids have little brothers, little sisters, everybody. Who knows what can happen?”

He said any type of health issue in a school is a threat, because it can spread.

“Some people aren’t as health conscious, washing their hands,” he said. “Everybody can catch it — it’s a serious issue.”

Woodson is glad there was a long weekend, so school officials could take precautions before letting students back in the classrooms.

“They doing it now, by breaking it down and cleaning. Especially the gym equipment, that’s where a lot of it is probably transmitted.”

But he’s making sure his son is prepared for Tuesday’s classes, just in case.

“I gave my son some of the antibacterial hand wipes to take with him to school, so they can wipe everything down before they use it.”

In the note that went home with students, school officials advised this to control the spread of scabies:

  • Treat all exposed household members at the same time to prevent re-infestation.
  • Apply the medication (a topical anti-scabicide cream) as ordered.
  • Wash all personal items.  Bedding and clothing worn during the 4 days before treatment should be washed in hot water and dried in the hot cycle. 
  • Place items you don’t want to wash in the hot dryer cycle for 30 minutes.
  • Place items in plastic bags and store them for 2 weeks.  If the mites don’t get a meal within 1 week, they will die.
  • Vacuum the entire house and discard the used bag.  Environmental disinfectants are unnecessary and unwarranted.

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