Scabies is spread when there is direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Transmission of scabies can also be the result of sharing clothing, towels, and bedding. In children, the condition is most commonly spread at daycare centers, school, or sleepovers. Transmission of the disease in nursing homes results in more severe cases than are typical for the infestation.
Scabies is a highly contagious condition caused by the scabies mite (Sarcoptes scabiei). It is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person already infested with the mites. Contact must be prolonged (a quick handshake or hug will usually not spread infestation).
Infestation is easily spread to sexual partners and household members. It may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding.
In children, transmission of scabies commonly occurs at daycare, school, or sleepovers.
Scabies is not a result of poor hygiene.
Scabies transmission in nursing homes is a problem. For unknown reasons, scabies in nursing homes is more severe than the typical scabies infestation, possibly requiring more than one application of scabies treatment.
People who get scabies in nursing homes may have different symptoms of scabies than is typical. The scabies may affect the face and scalp, but not other, more common areas. In a nursing home, severe itching may be the only symptom of scabies a person experiences.