• Feeling itchy? Scabies cases on the rise in Central Florida, doctors say

    By: Sarah Wilson


    Feeling itchy? If not, you might after you read this news.

    Doctors with AdventHealth Centra Care said scabies diagnoses are up more than 100 percent at multiple locations across Central Florida in the past week.

    Don’t know what scabies are? Finding out might make your skin crawl.


    Doctors say they are microscopic mites that burrow into the upper layer of skin where they live and lay eggs.

    AdventHealth said scabies is usually spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has it.  Doctors said day care centers, schools and nursing homes are often prone to outbreaks.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash.

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    AdventHealth Centra Care said its locations in DeLand, Winter Haven, Orange Lake and Winter Park, as well as on Lee Road, all saw a 100 percent jump in scabies cases last week.

    To diagnose scabies, doctors said they need to examine the skin for signs of scabies.  Sometimes that involves examining a skin scraping under a microscope to look for mites.

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    Good news? Doctors said bathing and over-the-counter preparations can ease itching. Bad news? They won’t eliminate the mites. For prescriptions to do that, you'll have to see a doctor.

    Check with your doctor if you believe you or a family member may have contracted the mites.

    The CDC said when a person is infested with scabies mites the first time, symptoms typically take 4-8 weeks to develop after being infested. However, an infested person can transmit scabies, even if they do not have symptoms.

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