England, scabies cases on the rise. Dermatologists: “Nightmare situation”

Scabies has returned to the UK, with a rise in cases across the country reported by doctors concerned about a serious shortage of treatments. This “nightmare” situation represents “a serious threat to public health”, is the alarm launched by the British Association of Dermatologists in the ‘Guardian’. In particular, the north of England recorded double the normal number of cases in November. Scabies is a highly contagious disease caused by mites that causes an itchy rash. Spread through close skin contact, anyone can contract the disease and it must be treated quickly to prevent it from spreading. But finding treatments in the UK has become difficult.

Supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of raw materials have led to months-long shortages of permethrin and malathion. The inability to quickly treat those affected – doctors report – is fueling the spread of scabies. For dermatologists who spoke to the Guardian, the situation has become an “absolute nightmare”, with outbreaks in nursing homes and university accommodation. In desperation, many patients have tried to purchase extremely expensive alternative treatments from websites outside the UK. A survey by the British Association of Dermatologists commissioned by the Guardian found that eight in nine regional representatives reported an increase in scabies cases in their area this year. Seven out of nine reported permethrin and malathion deficiencies.

Source: IL Tempo