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Introduction

Most infestations can be easily eradicated and the risk of staff or other patients acquiring the parasite is slight. An understanding of how they are transmitted is essential if the treatment is to be carried out effectively and the affected individual approached sensitively. It is also important to consider education and treatment of other members of the family.

 

Fleas

Hot bathing will remove fleas.

 

Lice

Lice can only be caught by close contact, they cannot jump or fly but need to be close enough to walk onto another contact. They feed from the host, usually taking blood 5 times a day. An allergic reaction develops to the bites causing them to itch. This reaction can take up to three months to develop.

 

Scabies (Sarcoptes scaibel)

Mites may be present for several days or weeks before itching commences. Scabies can be a difficult diagnosis to make. The taking of skin scrapings to confirm the diagnosis is recommended.

Staff caring for patients with known or suspected scabies should wear gloves and pay particular attention to hand hygiene. Anyone who develops an itchy rash, who has been in contact with scabies should report to the Occupational Health Department or GP.

 

Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: The Infection Control Team
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: September 2016
Date Issued: October 2016
Review Date: September 2019
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Ann Trail, Nurse Consultant, Infection Prevention and Control