Patients warned of possible scabies contraction from stay at Halifax hospital

Aly Thomson, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Capital Health says nearly 150 patients have been told there is a small risk that they contracted scabies after staying in the Halifax Infirmary.

A file shot inside the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

The health authority said letters have been sent home to 125 patients who were recently discharged from the unit off Robie Street.

It said 19 patients still at the infirmary were notified in person.

The patients were in the same unit as a patient with scabies before they were diagnosed about two weeks ago.

Capital Health said while the risk of exposure to the highly contagious skin rash is low, it was important to warn patients as a precaution.

“As a proactive measure, a decision was made to send those letters… just to be sure that they were aware,” said spokesman Everton McLean.

“We were trying to be proactive to make sure they take care of themselves and ensure they are armed with the right information.”

McLean said 40 staff members reported having scabies-like symptoms, although some have since determined they do not have the skin infection.

They say scabies is usually treated with a topical medication.

Capital Health said it will continue to monitor patients and staff who may have had contact with the mites that cause scabies.

Organizations: Halifax hospital

Geographic location: Robie Street

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