An email went out to the University of Southern Indiana (USI) community earlier this week advising faculty, staff and students to “be vigilant” as a small number of scabies cases have been confirmed on campus.

Scabies mite/CDC
Scabies mite/CDC

Individuals confirmed with the infestation are being treated and close/direct contacts have been identified and measures are taken to prevent the spread.

USI reports that affected campus living spaces are being being cleaned. Amy price, Director of Housing and Residence Life said, “This is above and beyond what even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.

“We are steam cleaning the carpets, cleaning all the furniture. I feel like that’s just a good route to take.”

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.

More about scabies

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.