At least six employees of the hospital Juan Ramon Jimenez in Huelva in southwestern Spain have been affected by an outbreak of scabies, according to an report (computer translated).

Scabies mite/CDC
Scabies mite/CDC

The cases include five nursing staff and a a member of the cleaning service.

The nurses union says the source of this outbreak could be found in a patient who had not diagnosed the disease. The hospital Prevention Service has sent a circular to workers with a series of tips to prevent the spread of scabies and treated the six people who already had symptoms.

According to the CDC, typical scabies is a non-life threatening, easily treatable infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. Symptoms of scabies include intense itching and a pimple-like rash. It is usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person.

However, in the case of immunocompromised patients, the elderly, the disabled or debilitated, crusted scabies is more easily transmitted through casual contact with the patient or the environment. While the risk of exposure to scabies is of concern, clinically it is described as a nuisance rather than a health concern. It is easily treatable with an ointment or oral medication.