SC DHEC investigates scabies cases at local ambulance service - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SC DHEC investigates scabies cases at local ambulance service

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Image: Sarcoptes scabiei mites in a skin scraping, stained with lactophenol cotton-blue. Credit: DPDx Image: Sarcoptes scabiei mites in a skin scraping, stained with lactophenol cotton-blue. Credit: DPDx

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) WMBF News has confirmed two apparent cases of scabies, at a local ambulance transport service according to the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control.

"At this time, DHEC is aware of at least two cases of physician-diagnosed scabies," said DHEC's Jim Beasley who also told WMBF News Anchor Michael Maely the agency was investigating a complaint of one or more possible cases of scabies among workers at an ambulance transport service in the Myrtle Beach area.

WMBF News originally got a tip from a viewer who claimed a worker had scabies and continued working, going to clinics, patients' homes, and into hospitals carrying this infectious disease.

DHEC would not name the facility, in part because Beasley said there is not an ongoing public health threat.

DHEC officials said the greatest risk of exposure would be among co-workers and not those who have been transported by the service.

"We expect the service to comply with our advice to mitigate and control the outbreak, which is our primary concern before considering any potential regulatory consequences," said Beasley.

Typical scabies infestations are spread by prolonged direct skin-to-skin contact, or through contact with clothing, linens and bedding.

The CDC has additional information on its website at <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/scabies/>.

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