Report by Fadia Tabib
Translated by Aline Aoun
NNA - Latest developments at the health level is the spread of scabies disease in a number of displaced Syrian camps in Lebanon.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNICEF, took quick measures and carried out a prevention campaign which included the distribution of medicine and guidance to health centers, as well as posters and ads that explain the symptoms of this disease, treatment and prevention methods.
The ministry asked the dispensaries and health centers to conduct a survey among a number of infected persons and the places they reside, and to follow-up on their capability of commuting to health centers to be able to get treatment.
The Ministry of Health said that scabies, which is transmitted through direct contact with the skin of the patient, usage of the same towels, personal medications, or through contact with infected animals, such as cats, dogs, sheep, could be treated by a medical cream on the infected skin. This cream is distributed by the Ministry of Health for free.
The Health Ministry advised, in addition to treatment on regular basis, to wash clothes and mattresses in hot water and iron them well and put them in plastic bags for 72 hours. Perseverance on hygiene and daily bathing with hot water, soap and wearing clean clothes after being washed and boiled well, and in case itching continues more than two or three weeks with the use of medications then the infected individuals should see a doctor.
What is scabies?
Scabies is an acute infectious disease that appears as a rash and is transmitted usually by touching the skin. Its symptoms are severe itching in the different parts of the body, especially at night during sleep because there are very small lice called "Sarcoptes scabiei" which live under the skin in the upper layer to lay their eggs and cannot live outside the body more than two or three days.
Statistics show that this disease affects 300 million people every year all over the world, especially in developed countries, which affects all age groups, young and old. Also animals can be infected by the disease.
Scabies begins between the fingers and evolves until it becomes red rashes in the form of small blisters and then shows itchiness in the body especially in the upper abdomen and the bottom and gradually spread throughout the body.
History of scabies
Scabies has been known since 2500 years. Aristotle considered it lice in the flesh and the Romans had treated it by paint composed of sulfur.
Giovanni Kzaimo Bonomo had discovered in 1687 that this disease is caused by mites that enter human skin and it's the first human disease caused by bacteria.
According to medical reports this parasite that lives under the skin, is caused by the weevil, which is usually spread in public bathrooms and warm places in the body and sweat.
We hope medics will find medication to this disease so that it won't become an epidemic amid the critical situation our beloved country is going through!