Johnstown school nurse Sunny Humphrey is seeking parents' assistance in an effort to fight a recurrence of scabies at Oregon Elementary.
Johnstown school nurse Sunny Humphrey is seeking parents' assistance in an effort to fight arecurrence of scabies at Oregon Elementary.
Humphrey told The Independent that spots are back on some of the same students in the first-grade class that dealt with an outbreak in early March.
"We are assuming resurgence," she said. "It isn't like there are new cases. We're researching it and redoubling our efforts."
Scabies are tiny mites that burrow under the skin and produce intense itching and red bumps that usually look like insect bites. The mites are attracted to the warmth of humans, especially to areas like the underarms and between the fingers.
The bumps often don't appear until four to six weeks after the infestation, Humphrey said. Scabies are spread by skin-to-skin contact.
The district needs parents' help in being alert to the symptoms and taking their children for treatment, if they show signs of scabies.
"Don't just consider it a mosquito or flea bite," Humphrey said. "We need the parents help in communicating with us. We're doing all we can do. I appreciate the parents who're offering suggestions. I'm open to listening to suggestions."
She said six cases of scabies were originally confirmed, including the first-grade teacher.
"Naturally we're on high alert," Humphrey said. "So far, it's contained to that classroom."
The district hired an expert nurse for most of last week to help with the effort, according to Humphrey.
"We're putting an extra person on it, making sure children are getting clothes in a bag," she said. "It's taking a lot of time to fight this for me. There are still 1,500 other kids in the district too. We've been successful in containing it so far, so good. I hope we've got it."
Following the advice of the Licking County Health Department, the first-grade classroom has been cleaned and inspected and the students are now keeping their coats and book bags in individual plastic bags during school hours.
The LCHD also recommended the school clean any upholstered furniture and rugs, as well as any plush toys or other items in the affected classroom.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention indicate that children and adults can return to school or work 24 hours after being properly treated.
In addition, the CDC recommends that bedding and clothing of those individuals who are infested with scabies be washed in hot water and dried on the hot cycle in order to assist with controlling the infestation.