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Taipei hospital reports scabies outbreak

At least two infections identified, more than 50 people being closely monitored

Yangming branch of Taipei City Hospital. 

Yangming branch of Taipei City Hospital.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A public hospital in Taipei has reported a scabies outbreak linked to a patient.

The Yangming branch of Taipei City Hospital confirmed on Sunday (Nov. 7) that at least two individuals in the same ward as a patient infected with scabies had been found to have contracted it themselves. The Yangming campus is located in Shilin District.

The patient was admitted to a respiratory care ward at the hospital on Sept. 30 after being treated at other medical institutions for at least 10 days. The patient underwent a test for the mite-induced skin condition on Oct. 29, which came back negative.

On the same day, however, some staying in the same ward reported symptoms such as skin rash, which triggered infection control at the hospital. A total of 57 patients and staff had been potentially exposed to the disease and underwent examinations, and two cases were identified, reported CNA.

The other 55 have yet to be declared scabies-free, as symptoms may appear two to six weeks after exposure. They are subject to continued monitoring and testing, according to Yangming Hospital.

Scabies is a contagious condition transmitted through contact with a patient. Those who have no symptoms can still pass it on to others, according to the U.S. CDC.

Common symptoms include skin rash and severe itching on various parts of the body. Tiny burrows caused by scabies mites can occasionally be seen on the skin.