Two Hardaway High School students were sent home Wednesday when the school nurse determined they were infected with the skin disease scabies. The two students returned to school Thursday after their doctors treated them and declared them not contagious, Hardaway principal Matt Bell said Friday.
No other students or staff members have reported symptoms or been diagnosed, Bell said. An email and telephone message were sent to all of the school’s parents as a precaution Thursday night, he said, to instruct them about how to detect scabies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin, where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.”
It could take 4-6 weeks for symptoms to start after infestation if a person hasn’t had scabies, the CDC’s website says. A person previously infected usually will see symptoms 1-4 days after exposure, the site says.
The Hardaway scabies cases were discovered after a student told the school nurse Tuesday a friend seemed to have the symptoms, Bell said. The nurse heard about the other infected student after talking to and examining the first one, he said.
The two students’ parents were notified, Bell said, and the nurse gave both students an exclusionary form, which banned them from school until they documented that they followed the proper protocol.
The Hardaway scabies cases haven’t caused an unusual number of absences at school, Bell said