January 19, 2022

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More and more cases of scabies in the Netherlands

More and more cases of scabies in the Netherlands

Infectious skin scabies is increasingly being diagnosed in the Netherlands. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 Dutch people will develop scabies this year. “Anxiety numbers. “If we don’t do anything about it, it will only get worse,” says Iwot Fanoy, MD, a physician at GGD Rotterdam-Rigenmond. telegraph.

In 2014, fewer than 30,000 Dutch people had scabies. The increase in recent months has been observed, among other things, by Nivel, a public knowledge institute that conducts research in healthcare and collects data from general practitioners for this purpose. Pharmacists also find that the cream (permethrin) and pills (ivermectin) against scabies are used more often.

The number of cases of scabies is increasing, especially among young people and students. Most cases occur in Groningen, Drenthe, Rotterdam and Reigenmond. At week 46, this was about 14 out of 100,000 people in the Netherlands, but these are the only people who reported to their GP.

What exactly is scabies?

Scabies, also known as scabies, is caused by scabies mites. This is a type of spider that you cannot see with the naked eye. Crawls with skin-to-skin contact, this takes about fifteen minutes. Thus, fleeting communication is not a risk, but long-term communication is a risk.

Scabies mites burrow holes in the skin and lay eggs there. This causes itching, especially at night, and crusting between the fingers, in the groin, in the folds of the skin and on the abdomen or back. The bumps and chips will not go away without treatment.

A systematic approach is necessary

Quick recognition of complaints, good treatment, and a group-oriented approach can prevent an increase, according to the doctor. Professor of Clinical Microbiology Hyman Werthem warned of Radboudumc in Nijmegen earlier NS That a systematic approach is required. “Otherwise things will really go wrong and the numbers will only increase.”

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This upward trend has been visible for a number of years. “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 if there are any sudden changes,” Mariette Houfeld, lead of the Neville Monitoring Project, said earlier this week. radar. However, it sees a trend in the short term.

How is that?

The big question is, of course, what caused this increase. “We are seeing a decrease in the distance due to the corona scale of all infectious diseases. But in scabies, the increase continues. In student homes, nursing homes, in short: in homes where many people are close to each other, there are outbreaks,” explains GGD Fanoy For De Telegraaf newspaper.

Scabies is common in poor countries in Africa and the Middle East. In Syria, for example. So it may be partly about immigration,” says Fanoy. “Either with vacationers, or with students getting more connected to each other. Scabies is transmitted through physical contact, such as within families or through sexual contact. In the German part bordering the Netherlands, there is also a lot of scabies. ”

Hopefully, DNA research into skin mites will shed light on the cause of the increase. For example, Fanoy would like to know if the DNA of a Dutch moth is the same as that of a German moth. “And whether we have different types of skin mites in our country within groups in the community. Through DNA research, we hope to better understand the ways in which mites spread. If we know that, we can focus additional communications on that.”

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Written by: Marinka Wagmans