Utah State Correctional Facility inmates receiving treatment for scabies during outbreak

SALT LAKE CITY – An outbreak of scabies in a section of the Utah State Correctional Facility will temporarily close some areas to visitors and quarantine inmates in the infected unit.

Reported cases are in the Bear 4 building in unit 1, which has group housing with eight people sharing a cell. Fourteen cases of scabies have been confirmed after assessing all inmates in the unit. The unit is on lockdown and visitation is prohibited. Restrictions are expected to be lifted Wednesday, November 22. 

Nurses with 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 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 this CDC fact sheet.