Human scabies was once considered as non-lethal disease but only a couple of years back World Health Organization (WHO) has included it in the list of “Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD)”.
In this review Israel Figa intends to highlight the causes of human scabies, how it gets infested, what are its symptoms and how it can be cured. But one thing is sure which is that it is one of the most annoying diseases that is highly contagious. It is a severe skin disease which is a result of infestation caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. Scabies belong to a group of mites which can only be seen microscopically and are not visible to naked human eyes.
What it does is that the female mite makes its way by burrowing into upper level of human skin and then starts living there. Once the female mite is settled in your skin, it then starts laying 2 to 3 eggs in different areas of your skin on daily basis. It takes at least two weeks for the larvae to reach its full adulthood and then the larvae too engages in mating process with other female mites and once again the cycle of laying eggs re-ignites. It is rather a never ending cycle which gets further worst with the passage of time.
In many parts of the world, scabies outbreak are found mostly in urban as well as non-urban areas. It is widely believed that poor living conditions is the environment best suited for anyone to get scabies. The most common cause of spread of scabies can be due to various reasons. For example it can be transmitted to one person to another directly. So if you are a father than there is high possibility that you can transmit scabies to your wife as well as to your children.
Dr. Israel Figa suggests that it is not necessary that the symptoms of scabies can appear instantly in a person who is being infested by it. As a matter of fact, once the mite has made its way into your skin then it takes about 2 to 4 weeks (in some cases may be 2 to 6 weeks) to show symptoms. One of the most prominent symptom of scabies infestation is that there is severe itchiness on your skin and emergence of skin rashes at many places on the skin. It is usually seen that the itch gets intense during nights.
Some of the areas which are usually infested during scabies infestation are legs, genitals, waist, elbow, buttocks, armpit, between the fingers etc.
What is even scarier is that there can be found signs of burrows at various places on the skin. These are caused by female mite trying to tunnel out its way to different parts of the human skin. Though it is not a fatal disease but can lead to a couple of complications on rare occasions such as giving rise to a kidney inflammatory disease.
Israel Figa explains that the scabies infestation keeps growing and not doing anything about it, will further deteriorate the condition. Often in younger children scabies can cause severe pimples which are painful and may subjugate a child’s behavior. If the kids are school going, then the chances of scabies transmission with other kinds are imminent. The point to be noted here is that scabies is not a virus nor bacteria, it is a bug living in your skin and therefore you need to ensure killing every single one of them accordingly. So as per Israel Figa it is necessary to get rid of the problem before making it someone else’s problem too.
There are two common effective treatments for getting rid of scabies – one is topical (which is applied on any part of the body) and the other is oral (a medication taken through mouth).
For the topical treatment, one of the most effective method is using a cream called Permethrin which is easily available in the market and is generally a synthetic insecticide. For many years, Permethrin is being used effectively against the prevention of scabies in many parts of the world. In many cases it had been found out that one single application of the cream had done away with scabies. However applying the cream once in a day for at least 5 days is highly recommended by medical doctors and practitioners.
Apart from Permethrin, several sulphur compounds have been found effective against stopping the spread of scabies infestation.
Moving on to the oral treatment of scabies, the first in line medication is effectively known is “Ivermectin”. Many of the doctors have been recommending the use of Ivermectin for killing the mites living in a human skin. Ivermectin is usually prescribed by doctors to be taken one pill of 5 mg per 25 KG per person. This means that if you are of 50 KG of weight then you can take two pills of 5 mg. The second doze of Ivermectin can be taken after 15 days. This can be repeated for at least three months. The results of the use of Ivermectin have been found to be 100% successful against killing scabies and its infestation.
Once the scabies infestation gets bigger and turns into an outbreak then it becomes quite difficult to control it. In many of the under-development countries scabies has become one of their major problems. Poor living conditions such as nursing homes as well as jails where the inmates are forced to live in closed proximities with no proper bedding, linen and etc. may also provide the breeding ground for the scabies to take a toll in the shape of an outbreak.
There are however certain strategies which can be adopted to control scabies and the same have also been endorsed by WHO as well.
Firstly, if anyone think that he is carrying scabies, then he should consult a doctor immediately. As a first step he or she would need to avoid skin to skin contact with anyone. Similarly, the bedding, bed sheets, towels and clothing will need not to be shared with anyone. Secondly, if any of your family member reports of scabies then all the household members will need to undergo the same treatment simultaneously.
Israel Figa explains that the above accounts are foretelling you of an intense disease whose prevention is not only time-taking but also expensive and can be really annoying because of its being highly contagious. So we should not in any way underestimate scabies or else it has the potential of turning into a global outbreak.