The Marietta Daily Journal had an article about the prevention and treatment of scabies in nursing homes.  The article explains that members of the Cobb Elder Abuse Task Force met in May to discuss how and why contagious illnesses like scabies occur at senior homes.

Scabies is caused by microscopic mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. It can be spread without precautions in place by prolonged skin-to-skin contact and often manifests as an intensely itchy rash.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nursing homes and extended-care facilities are often the sites of scabies outbreaks because they have a large number of people in close contact.

Scabies should not typically be fatal on its own, however untreated scabies can lead to bacterial infections that can be fatal, especially among the elderly.  Nursing homes can be found negligent in failing to recognize the infestation and by allowing the disease to progress so far that it injures the residents. If properly recognized and diagnosed, it can be treated with a simple prescription lotion or cream, according to the CDC.

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