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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


LARROSA MONTANES, Alberto et al. Scabies Outbreak at a Senior Citizen Living Facility in the Province of Huesca, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.78, n.1, pp.107-114. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Individuals residing in institutionalized living facilities are currently a high-risk group as regards scabies outbreaks. This study is aimed at analyzing the characteristics of one of these outbreaks, which occurred at a senior citizen living facility located in the municipality of Barbastro (Huesca) through the Huesca Provincial Epidemiological Monitoring Division. Methods: Following the initial notification of cases, a specific scabies prevention protocol was set out. An epidemiological investigation was conducted, proceeding to an active search for cases among all of the individuals residing or working at the facility in question. The information gathered on the cases and contacts by means of a validated survey was included in a database using Epiinfo 6.0. The attack rate and the relative risk of those residing in each area of the center were estimated, taking as a reference that having the lowest attack rate. Results: A total of nineteen (18 and 1 respectively) cases of scabies were detected among the 104 residents and 20 workers employed at the facility. The source of the outbreak could not be specifically determined, although at least two of the first cases had begun to show some symptoms six months prior to their detection. The average delay in diagnosis was 53 days. This outbreak had a greater effect on the males in the assisted living quarters (TA=77%; RR=18.5, CI95%=2.7-128.7). The only employee affected was the person in charge of this area, who had not employed the universal personal protection measures during his caregiving tasks. Conclusions: This is a scabies outbreak at a senior citizen living facility, probably due to the delay in diagnosing the first cases and the failure on the part of one caregiver to have employed the personal protection measures. A specific scabies-prevention protocol having been implemented was fundamental for the control of this outbreak.

Keywords : Scabies; Mites; Epidemic outbreak; Homes for the aged.

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