MOH News
Statement of Clarification on Scabies and How to Handle Reported Cases in Makkah
03 April 2018

​The Ministry of Health (MOH) has adopted precautionary measures to handle and treat reported scabies cases in Makkah; while assuring the public that it is not a cause of health concern. Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a mite which penetrates the skin. It is transmitted by prolonged skin-to-skin contact. The hallmark symptoms of scabies include a rash and intense itching, especially at night. As for its complications, vigorous scratching can break your skin and allow a secondary bacterial infection.


In persons without previous exposure, the incubation period is two to six weeks before onset of itching. Persons who have been previously infested are much more sensitive and usually develop symptoms one to four days after re-exposure.

As the scabies preventive measures, they include:
  • Awareness and health education on scabies, its transmission, importance of early diagnosis, treatment and good personal hygiene.
  • Report cases, isolate infected persons from school and work places till a day after full treatment.
  • Wash underwear and bed sheets used by the infected person 48 hours before treatment with hot water.
  • Identify mates of confirmed cases, including family members and others, follow them up for potential unreported cases suffering from scabies symptoms, mainly itching, and administer effective medication to them at the same time to prevent infection.
  • Checkup mates, look for infection sources, which often occur collectively, mainly in congested places. Rarely, only one family member catches the infection. Preventive treatment should be administered to persons in direct contact with patients.
  • Provide sanitary tools in public facilities, camps and congested residential areas.

As far as treatment of reported cases is concerned, MOH stresses that:
For children, the drug of choice is permethrin cream 5% or Lindane lotion to applied to the whole body except head and neck. Then, take a bath the next day, and changes both your clothes and bed sheets. It is noted that itching may last for one or two weeks after treatment; which should by no means taken as indication of treatment failure. For 5% of patients, medication is repeated 7-10 days after in case mites or their eggs still persist.

The following precautionary measures have been taken in Makkah:
  • Conducting a full survey of all classes and students at schools of suspected cases.
  • Preparing full inventory of patients and their mates, while giving the needed medications, with special stress on isolating patients till full recovery.
  • Providing effective health awareness on the disease, its transmission, prevention, the importance of personal hygiene at schools and through social media.
  • Coordinating with school administrations to send any suspected case to the nearest health center for diagnosis and necessary action. You can contact the nearest health center to your school, or directly contact the communicable diseases department of Makkah Health Affairs or call us on (937).
  • Two teams have been created to visit the residence of reported cases to assess the situation.






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