Scabies outbreak reported at Winchester Hospital

WINCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) – Officials at Winchester Hospital say there has been an outbreak of Norwegian scabies at the facility.

A patient recently admitted to the hospital spread the scabies infection to two other patients and more than 20 employees, according to an internal memo obtained by 7News.

Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease caused by an infestation of the human itch mite. It’s spread by prolonged skin-to-skin contact or contaminated items.

The hospital says it is taking a “number of measures” to contain the outbreak, but the number of those infected is expected to increase.

All ICU workers, along with ICU and mother-baby patients, will receive treatment. All workers who may have been exposed will be offered treatment.

Those exposed to the infection will not be allowed back to work until they are no longer contagious.

The hospital says it’s working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. They issued the following statement:

“Winchester Hospital has put in place aggressive protocols and procedures to treat impacted individuals, prevent spread of the infection, and safeguard the facility from any addition infection risk.”

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