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Edinburgh, UK: Scabies

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    Posted: August 30 2018 at 11:52am
INFESTED Massive scabies outbreak hits Edinburgh hospitals after mites found on DEAD BODY as infected staff warned to stay away from patients

The outbreak across five sites in NHS Lothian - including Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh - has wiped out more than 20 members of staff
By Mark Hendry
30th August 2018, 9:55 am
Updated: 30th August 2018, 9:58 am

A HUGE scabies outbreak has hit one of Scotland’s biggest hospitals after the mites were discovered on the body of a patient who had died.

The outbreak across five sites in NHS Lothian – including Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh – has wiped out more than 20 members of staff who have been told to stay away from patients.

The infestation, which was identified on August 16, has seen the staff “quarantined” from dealing with patients for 12 hours.

NHS Lothian confirmed the outbreak at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Roodlands Hospital, East Lothian, Ferryfield House community hospital and Midlothian Care in the Community.

A whistleblower who did not want to be named said: “It was the mortuary staff who found this infestation after a patient who had been in the Royal Infirmary died.

“They could clearly see the mites on the woman’s body as there is no living tissue for them to bury into.”

Speaking to the Scotsman, they continued: “They told NHS Lothian and staff who work in the acute medical unit where the patient was were informed after that.

“The incubation period for infection is around four weeks and the number of patients and staff in and out of that particular unit along with relatives and family friends is huge.”

Unison Lothian branch chair Tom Waterson blasted the health board for their handling of the outbreak, claiming staff have a “right to know” when there is a health threat.

    Elderly people, young children and those with a weakened immune system may also develop a rash on their head and neck.

He said: “I’m disgusted, staff have a right to know whenever there’s a threat to their health.

“I heard staff who visit the acute medical unit three times a day had not been told of any outbreak of scabies.

“So, if NHS Lothian are now saying staff have been informed then they have not informed all staff and that’s a serious concern.”
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Public health consultant at NHS Lothian, Dr Duncan McCormick, said: “We are treating and monitoring clusters of cases of a very common and infectious skin condition, called scabies, in five sites in Lothian, including the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Roodlands Hospital.

“Staff and patients have been issued with treatment and advice to prevent the infection, which does not present a serious health risk, from spreading.”


    Scabies is very common and anyone can get it.
    It should be treated quickly to stop it spreading.
    One of the first symptoms is intense itching, especially at night.
    Tiny mites lay eggs in the skin, leaving lines with a dot on the end.
    The rash can appear anywhere, but often starts between the fingers.
    The rash spreads and turns into tiny red spots.
    The scabies rash usually spreads across the whole body – apart from the head.

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