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Outbreak of scabies among UM students

Outbreak of scabies among UM students


MAASTRICHT. Student Services has warned students against scabies. Various student organisations reported to local health authority GGD South Limburg that members suffered from this skin disease. “Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that burrows under the skin and leaves behind certain substances. This starts to itch,” says Casper den Heijer, infectious diseases physician for GGD South Limburg. “It is not extremely contagious, you can safely shake a scabies patient’s hand. The disease is passed on by intensive skin contact, which is why it occurs more frequently among people who live close together, like in student houses.”

The disease is treated with an ointment or tablets. “In addition, the patient’s recently worn clothes should be washed at 60 degrees. As soon as the treatment has started, the patient is no longer contagious. It is therefore important that students who exhibit the symptoms see their GP. Once they are treated, the outbreak will blow over.”

Exactly how many students suffer from scabies is unknown. “It is not a disease that GPs are compelled to report, so we don’t have an overall view of the situation.”



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