An outbreak of scabies has affected 197 children under the age of 10 in the municipality of Caala, in Huambo province in the south African country of Angola, according to an Angola Press report (computer translated).

Scabies mite/CDC
Scabies mite/CDC

Head of the municipal health department, Albino Ndumbi Ernesto said the cases were found in the localities of Sipiti, Calomanda, Catetele and Longuève during a health activity carried out by the health services in the region.

“We will work to combat scabies in these localities, through good hygiene, proper use of water, distribution of the complete equipment for hygiene and medicine,” he promised.

Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies, according to the CDC.

Scabies occurs worldwide and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent. Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities, and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks.