Canton City Health Department investigates outbreak of Norwegian or crusted scabies

CANTON - The Canton City Health Department has been investigating an outbreak of scabies since early May.

Canton City Health Commissioner James Adams said they believe the outbreak originated from a long-term health care facility. Officials are also looking into other Stark County health facilities.

Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. It spreads by close contact, or by sharing bed sheets and towels.

The cases in Canton involve Norwegian, or crusted, scabies, which is more severe and extremely contagious. Adams said individual cases of scabies are not reported so the extent of the outbreak is not known.

Adams said catching scabies has nothing to do with cleanliness and is more about skin-to-skin contact, like between a caregiver and a patient.

Scabies is treatable, but can cause complications for someone who already has a serious disease, Adams said.

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