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Mercy Hospital responds to case of contagious skin condition

Date: 04/09/2019

A patient at Northern Light Mercy Hospital has been diagnosed with Norwegian scabies, which is a more severe form of traditional scabies. The patient is being treated and is now in isolation. The hospital has notified the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is following protocols for infectious disease response.

While the CDC does not consider exposure to scabies to be a significant threat to public health, the condition is known to cause anxiety (similar to a head lice outbreak) and present discomfort to those who develop the itchy rash that it causes. Healthy individuals exposed to Norwegian scabies may become infected and develop symptoms consistent with traditional scabies. A CDC fact sheet on scabies can be found here.

“Scabies is a common skin condition that may cause us to cringe, but is not particularly worrisome from a health perspective,” said Michael Duffy, MD, Mercy’s senior physician executive. “Mercy’s specialists are identifying any exposed patients and staff that should receive treatment to address potential exposure.”

For questions or additional information on treatment options, patients are encouraged to call Mercy at 207-879-3185 for further guidance.