Officials with Winchester Hospital in Massachusetts say more than 20 hospital employees and another patient are showing symptoms of a possible scabies infection after patient who was recently admitted may have had an active infection.
The patient who was initially infected with scabies was admitted to the hospital Wednesday.
Scabies, a highly contagious and highly treatable infection, can be spread through prolonged skin contact or through contaminated items like clothing and bedding.
The employees who showed signs of infection are receiving treatment and will not return to work until the symptoms fully clear. One patient in the same unit is also believed to have been infected.
Non-infected employees who were potentially exposed are also undergoing preventative treatment.
Protocols have been put in place to prevent any additional exposure.
The department of Public Health released a statement that read, "The Department of Public Health is aware of this situation and is working closely with hospital officials to guide them on treatment and prevention protocols. While scabies does not generally present a serious health risk, it obviously causes distress for anyone who has to deal with the condition. This is not a problem unique to hospitals. Scabies is found worldwide in all types of congregate settings, such as colleges, daycare centers and nursing homes."
There is no change to currently scheduled patient services at the hospital.