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Doctors report a surge in scabies across UK

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  • Doctors report a surge in scabies across UK

    Doctors report ‘nightmare’ surge in scabies across UK

    Exclusive: Proliferation comes amid treatment shortage and poses major public health threat, say experts

    Andrew Gregory Health editor
    Mon 1 Jan 2024 10.00 EST
    In the UK, two main treatment options exist: permethrin and malathion. A combination of supply chain problems, the war in Ukraine and a rise in the cost of raw materials has resulted in months-long shortages of both.

    It has sparked an emerging public health crisis, with dermatologists and GPs struggling to treat people with scabies swiftly, the Guardian has been told, with the north of England seeing double the normal amount of cases in November.

    Medics are reporting the rise amid concerns that a failure to quickly treat those affected is causing the condition to spread.

    Dermatologists who spoke to the Guardian said the situation had become an “absolute nightmare”, with outbreaks in care homes, nursing homes and university accommodation.

    National tracking of patients with scabies was “very limited”, a dermatologist leader said, suggesting the problem could be worse than feared.
    Prof Mabs Chowdhury, the president of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “The shortage of scabies treatments is something that urgently needs more attention.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela