An outbreak of Scabies strikes a hospital on the Big Island

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Officials say an outbreak of scabies has been confirmed at a Big Island hospital, affecting a number of employees.

Officials with the Kona Community Hospital say the outbreak of the skin disease caused by parasitic mites was officially identified last week.

The hospital has not said how many people have been infected.

According to the state Disease Outbreak Control Division, scabies is caused by mites that burrow under the skin and lay eggs, leading to intense itching. Symptoms can take about two to four weeks to appear after infection.

The hospital says its procedures and protocols for infectious outbreaks have been implemented.

Lisa Downing, the hospital’s director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health, told West Hawaii Today that the outbreak was found after an “overabundance of people” reported similar symptoms.