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.
Hot bathing will remove fleas.
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.
|The Infection Control Team
|Clinical Governance Committee
|Ann Trail, Nurse Consultant, Infection Prevention and Control