Edmonton

200 intensive-care patients at Red Deer hospital exposed to scabies

About 200 people who were intensive care patients at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are being notified they may have been exposed to scabies, Alberta Health Services says.

Exposure was between Oct. 6, 2018 and March 5, 2019, Alberta Health Services says

Alberta Health Services is notifying 200 people who may recently have been exposed to scabies at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (Shutterstock)

About 200 people who were intensive care patients at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are being notified they may have been exposed to scabies, Alberta Health Services says.

Scabies is an infestation caused by a mite which causes an itchy rash. It is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, sometimes even before a person is aware they have it.

The people being notified were patients between Oct. 6, 2018 and March 5, 2019, AHS said in a news release Tuesday.

AHS said it took "immediate actions" to isolate and treat identified cases to prevent further spread, following the positive diagnosis of a patient on the intensive care unit. The infection was not acquired in the hospital, AHS said.

The case is not considered a risk to the general public, and only the people contacted directly by AHS are considered potentially exposed, it said.

Periodic outbreaks of scabies can occur in public facilities such as a daycare, schools, hospitals and long-term care centres, AHS said.

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