Scabies reported at Johnsonville High School

Scabies reported at Johnsonville High School

JOHNSONVILLE, SC (WMBF) - There have been about eight possible scabies cases in Johnsonville High School this week as well as two unconfirmed cases at Johnsonville Middle School, said Randy Smiley, superintendent of Florence County School District 5.

"The district nurse is here and working with them. She's in contact with DHEC, so that we follow any protocols we need to follow," he said.

Smiley said an area health professional notified the school district Monday about high school students receiving prescriptions for scabies.

In a letter sent home to parents, Melissa Patterson, the district nurse, said scabies is contagious via microscopic mites that are spread from prolonged skin-to-skin contact or sharing of clothes, bedding or towels. It can only be treated with a prescription.

Nurse Patterson also did a presentation over Johnsonville High School's television system to explain to the students exactly what scabies is, how it spreads and treatment.

"Students before they got more information they were beginning to panic a little bit," Smiley said. "And I think same way with parents and I think the more and more information that we get out then I think the better they feel about it."

The school district said it is deep cleaning and sanitizing Johnsonville High School. There are also plans to spray all three schools in Florence School District 5 starting Friday afternoon to kill any mites in the buildings.

"If you're sharing clothes, perhaps sharing hats, or borrowing someone's towels or something like that that the towels had the mites on them," Smiley said. "It's pretty difficult to get it within the school setting."

Students who come into the nurses office with an itchy rash or symptoms of scabies are sent home and they're not able to come back to school until a doctor clears them.

The best way to stop scabies from spreading within the home is to wash any bedding, clothes or fabric a child with scabies may have come in contact with while infected.

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