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March 24, 2017

Scabies outbreak at Montgomery County school

A scabies outbreak has been reported at a Montgomery County elementary school.

The Montgomery County Health Department was alerted of two cases of the contagious skin condition at Whitehall Elementary School in West Norriton on March 8 and learned of additional cases on Friday, according to county spokeswoman Lori Slass, who could not confirm the total number of cases.

A PhillyVoice call to the school's principal, Maryanne Hoskins, for more information about the health situation was not returned early Friday afternoon.

The health department has provided the school with information regarding scabies for students to take home to their parents, Slass said.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), scabies results when a mite – a tiny, eight-legged bug – burrows into the top layer of skin to live and feed. An extremely itchy rash developsin reaction to the mite. Mites can spread from person-to-person, typically through skin-to-skin contact. It is possible, though less likely, for mites to spread through infested bedding, clothing and furniture. Mites can survive for about 48 to 72 hours without human contact.

The AAD offers tips to help get rid of the hardy mites on its website.

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