Scabies outbreak contained at two health-care facilities, WRHA says

Health officials in Winnipeg say a scabies outbreak at a hospital and personal care home have been contained.

Treatment offered to dozens of staff, patients at Concordia Hospital after itchy illness discovered

An outbreak of scabies, a contagious skin disease, was reported at Concordia Hospital and Middlechurch Home. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Health officials in Winnipeg say a scabies outbreak at a hospital and personal care home have been contained. 

Two patients contracted the illness at Concordia Hospital and fewer than five people were exposed at Middlechurch Home in West St. Paul, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said on Friday.

Scabies is a contagious and itchy disease caused by an itch mite burrowing itself into the skin. 

A spokesperson said Concordia Hospital exercised an "abundance of caution" by contacting patients about the outbreak when they did not have to, "as we appreciate the discomfort and concern that may be caused by such symptoms."

The hospital provided 71 staff members with prophylaxis treatment to address any risk of exposure. All 27 patients in the unit were assessed and some of them received treatment. 

At Middlechurch Home, fewer than five people were exposed and anyone who was in contact with those individuals were treated.

Hospital hopeful

Staff at Concordia Hospital is optimistic that no new transmissions will be found, but they will continue to monitor the situation and place restrictions on people visiting the hospital, a statement read.

The outbreak can only be called off after 12 weeks without another detection, the WRHA said.

Concordia Hospital began restricting visits after a suspicious rash was spotted on a patient on Aug. 6. An outbreak was declared two days later when two cases were under investigation.

Anyone who believes they may have contracted scabies is asked to see their family physician.


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