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The parasites spread via prolonged direct skin-to-skin contact and can be passed along by persons who have no obvious symptoms. Animals play no role in spreading scabies among humans.

Scabies infestations are seen in all parts of the world, and are not specific to any ethnic group or socio-economic class. The mites do spread rapidly, however, in overcrowded conditions like:

– prisons

– nursing homes

– extended care facilities

It is also quite common for scabies to be spread by sexual contact, or to be passed around among members of the same household.

In institutional settings, especially in cases of virulent crusted scabies, prevention hinges on vigilant monitoring and detection once the outbreak has been identified.

If crusted scabies is present, this will include a program of thorough cleaning and disinfecting in addition to treating the affected individuals.

Since direct skin-to-skin contact is the means of transmission, affected individuals may need to be temporarily isolated and support staff will require protective garments.

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