Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Scabies in Sheffield: a family infestation.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 25 March 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:761
  1. R E Church,
  2. J Knowelden


    From June 1972 to May 1973 the medical officer of health and general practitioners in Sheffield referred all suspected cases of scabies to the Hallamshire Hospital skin department. Contact tracing, similar to that in VD departments, was carried out by a specially trained state registered nurse. In all, 1482 cases were found in 609 households. This was ten times the number referred to the skin department in 1971. Infestation was introduced to households mainly by schoolchildren and teenagers, especially by girls. The commonest sources were friends and relatives outside the home. Schools did not play an appreciable part in spread. The secondary attack rate in households was 38%. Notification of cases, adequate treatment within the home, and contact tracing are recommended to halt the present epidemic of scabies.