Washington Co.Parents: School Should Do More After Scabies Outbreak

Scabies, a highly contagious skin condition, is spreading at a Washington County school, and parents are upset with the school district saying more should have been done to prevent the outbreak.

The Washington County Schools superintendent says there are 23 confirmed cases of scabies at Pines Elementary School in Plymouth.

Scabies are tiny mites that burrow into the skin and cause itching and a rash that can often bleed. The health department in Plymouth says hundreds of children have come in to be checked for scabies since Monday.

One parent we spoke with says her daughter got scabies this week. She says a note sent home about the problem was not enough.

"I feel they should close the school down until everything is cured because my little cousin caught it, and everyday it's somebody catching it." said Linda Brothers.

Superintendent Dr. Joe Davis says they called parents, sent home notes, and even held a parent meeting to let parents know about the problem. He says they have cleaned and sanitized the school.

According to CDC, the only way you can get rid of the mites it to get a doctor's prescribed ointment and thoroughly wash all bedding and belongings in hot water.

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School officials said parents of students at Pines Elementary in Washington County will get a note sent home with students Monday about an outbreak of scabies at the school.

Superintendent of Washington County Schools, Joe Davis, said on Thursday, May 16th the school was made aware of one case of a student with scabies.

Davis said on Friday morning, the school nurse worked alongside a nurse from the health department to determine if classmates of the student with a confirmed case had any symptoms.

The superintendent said parents of the one classroom they originally thought was exposed were notified and that classroom was cleaned and disinfected.

Davis would not say the exact classroom where the first case was reported, but said it was in the K-2nd grade wing of the school.

By Monday morning Davis said the school learned the one student with scabies may have had relatives exposed to the case who also attended the school.

By Monday afternoon, Davis said they had four cases on confirmed scabies at Pines Elementary in Plymouth.

Davis said while the school sent home letters, the school system office will follow up with parents and nearby school districts in Martin and Tyrrell counties are being notified of the outbreak.

Scabies is a highly contagious parasite which the Centers for Disease Control says is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite.

The CDC says common symptoms of scabies include intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash and that the mite is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.