PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Summit Academy Community School in Parma decided to cancel classes for Thursday and Friday because of reported cases of scabies. The school plans to reopen Monday, Dec. 10.
Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei.
The school first reported the outbreak at the end of last week. The school was thoroughly cleaned over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to contain the spread.
Summit Academy is a kindergarten through 12th grade school specializing in quality education for children with social and learning disorders such as Autism, ADD, ADD Spectrum Disorders, and ADHD.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health said scabies is contagious through direct contact.
“They (mites) get on your skin and the burrow, and once they make that initial point of entry, then the female will come in and she’ll burrow or tunnel," said Kevin Brennan with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
The female will then lay eggs under the skin, which leads to an unbearable rash that spreads every time it’s touched or scratched.
Doctors recommend anyone with symptoms or anyone exposed to someone who has scabies to seek medical treatment.
Here’s what to do if your or your child has scabies:
· Seek treatment immediately—most cases with a cream and antibiotics.
· Wash and dry all bedding, clothing and towels that have made contact with the afflicted.
· If items can’t be washed or dry-cleaned immediately, place them in plastic bag for several days to a week.
Once medical treatment begins, scabies the mites will die in two to three days. If left untreated, they will continue to feed off skin and spread. Brennan said that’s why you need to take immediate action.
“It’s very easy to treat. It’s very easy to get rid of—it’s just a shock oh my gosh what’s going on with me?” Brennan said.
Brennan also said the health department didn’t recommend the school closing.
“I know the school has decided to close down and open next Monday, and that was not part of the slate of recommendations we gave them,” Brennan said. “Because we didn’t think that the situation warranted that, because it is a person-to-person transmission. So, it’s not as if someone is going to go put their hand on a wall or they’re leaning on the wall and all of a sudden one’s going to crawl on them and enter their skin. I think this is probably more an assurance mechanism for the school.”