There is an upward trend in the number of scabies cases in the Netherlands. This was reported by Nivel, a public knowledge institute that conducts research in healthcare. But what exactly is scabies? How do you know him?
Nivel collects data from general practitioners. An analysis is made every year of the number of people who have contracted a particular disease.
What is scabies?
But what exactly is scabies? Scabies is a contagious skin disease caused by the scabies mite. This is a small animal that cannot be seen with the naked eye, according to the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Mites burrow superficial tunnels into the skin where they then lay their eggs. Scabies is also called scabies.
So Nivel sees an increasing trend in the number of cases of scabies. It’s been this way for several years now. The annual numbers are our exact numbers, but we also look at data from general practitioners on a weekly basis. And there you can see very well whether there are sudden changes. We’re now seeing it go up a lot, says Mariette Hoifeld, Monitor Project Leader.
Age groups and regions
The numbers are highest in the 15-24 age group (45 cases per 100,000 population). When it comes to the region, most cases occur in Groningen, Drenthe, Rotterdam and Reigenmond. At week 46, it was about 14 out of 100,000 people in the Netherlands, but these are the only people who actually reported to their GP.
Heiman Wertheim, professor of clinical microbiology at Radboudumc in Nijmegen, confirms that scabies has become more common among young people in recent years. “This usually happens in student homes, where young people live close to each other and share things.” It can also spread through skin-to-skin contact.
Now that a clear trend has been observed, he believes it is important to define a good approach. The task of the knowledge organization is to provide numbers. Hence it is up to infectious disease control to conduct further research in this regard.
I can imagine there are different interests due to Corona, but this is not going well
Heiman Wertheim, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Radboudumc
“Do not make it worse than it is, but annoying”
Wertheim: There has to be a systematic approach. There is already a working group for scabies and I can imagine there are different interests due to Corona, but this is not going well. Students need to be more aware so it doesn’t keep spreading. We shouldn’t make it worse than it is, but it’s an annoying thing that could be better coordinated.
Scabies is highly contagious. One of the most common complaints is itching. You are experiencing this because of an allergic reaction to mites. Itching may increase when it is hot, but also at night.
Red blisters and bumps can also form on the skin, often between the fingers, wrists, and feet. Tunnels that scabies mites have dug into the skin can also appear as red streaks. Children up to the age of four can also have scalp complaints.
How do you treat scabies?
Scabies does not go away on its own, but it can be treated well with a special cream (permethrin). The skin condition can also be treated with ivermectin tablets with a prescription from your general practitioner. You can read more about scabies treatment.
“Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.”