Eight cases of scabies treated at GMH - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Eight cases of scabies treated at GMH

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - According to the World Health Organization scabies is an illness described to be water-related because of its connection between bathing and personal hygiene to prevention and control of its spread. And it's an illness the Department of Youth Affairs is monitoring closely.

Boys at DYA rang the New Year in with a skin infection. According to Department of Public Health epidemiologist Dr. Robert Haddock, his division was contacted shortly after the Guam Memorial Hospital treated eight cases of scabies from eight males from DYA on January 2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scabies is common in youth and is caused by a human itch mite that causes intense itching and pimple-like rash.

DYA youth correction officer and PIO William Castro said, "The kid that I guess had it got released and I guess it spread to other kids - the eight individuals taken to GMH."

Although scabies is caused by direct prolonged skin-to-skin contact, Castro assures KUAM News that DYA clients practice good hygiene and a nurse makes regular visits to the facility. "Our department...the personal hygiene is up to par they shower three times a day - morning, lunch time and the evening hours. The structure itself is kept, swept and mopped, the bed sheets are cleaned every evening and replaced with new ones," he explained.

While DYA wait for suggestions from Public Health's Division of Environmental Health, Castro tells KUAM News that DYA continues to do its job of caring, treating, and rehabilitating youth adjudicated by the courts of Guam. "We're ahead of ourselves first we focus on our youth that are being detained here that we got under control," he said.

The eight boys have been segregated from the rest of the DYA population as the infection is highly contagious.

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