Salt Lake City — An outbreak of scabies in a section of the Utah State Correctional Facility will close some areas to visitors and quarantine inmates in the infected unit.
Reported cases are currently in the Green Unit, a dorm-style housing unit where incarcerated individuals receive sex offense or substance abuse treatment. At least 57 people have been confirmed to have scabies. Visitation to this unit of the prison is temporarily closed.
Nurses with the Division of Correctional Health Services are providing treatment, including the prescription cream permethrin, to everyone suspected or confirmed to have scabies. Clothing and bedding from those confirmed or suspected of being infected will be washed with a disinfectant solution and other areas of the state prison will be cleaned to prevent further spread. Inmates and staff will also receive education about the hygienic steps needed to protect themselves and others from scabies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. 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. More information is available from a CDC fact sheet.