Korean journal of dermatology, 52(7):457-464, 2014
Korean journal of dermatology; 대한피부과학회지
Background: Scabies is an old and common contagious skin disease. The incidence of scabies has decreased through the economic growth of Korea. However, recent outbreaks in medical facilities have created a suspicion that the infection of scabies is an emerging public health problem.
Objective: We evaluated the epidemiological and clinical aspects of patients diagnosed with scabies in Korea. This prospective study follows the retrospective study already performed by the same authors in 2011.
Methods: A multicenter, prospective study of scabies was performed at 25 hospitals in Korea. We included 914 patients who were diagnosed with scabies. Microscopic examination revealed scabies mites or eggs, or clinical improvement after treatment. Patients were asked to provide information on scabies, especially regarding the contact source, and the physicians examined them.
Results: Of the participants, 432 patients were men and 482 were women. Patients aged younger than 10 years and 60∼69 years were the most common groups. Scabies more commonly affected patients during the fall and winter. Of the patients, 68.0% were thought to be infected at their homes, followed by nursing homes or hospitals (25.7%), and 31.6% through contact with other patients or, occasionally, staff members, including caregivers.
Conclusion: We confirmed that scabies is an emerging threat in institutions, especially medical facilities. In addition, we suggest that public and in-hospital education is essential to minimize the problems associated with scabies.
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