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What is Scabies?

Scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by a microscopic mite that burrows into the skin and lays eggs, eventually triggering an immune response that leads to intense itching and a rash.

Scabies infestation may be complicated by bacterial infection, leading to the development of skin sores that, in turn, may lead to the development of more serious consequences such as septicaemia, heart disease and chronic kidney disease.

Scabies is usually transmitted person-to-person through close skin contact with an infested individual. Patients typically present with severe itch, linear burrows and vesicles around the finger webs, wrists, upper and lower limbs and belt area.

WHO road map target:

Control by 2030

Key stats

  • 200 million* people

    worldwide suffer from scabies at any one time (*esitmated)

    Source: WHO data 2018

  • 5-50%

    of children in resource-poor areas are affected

Further information