Scabies, a disease also known as the seven year itch, has reappeared in Swiss schools. The contagious skin infection is cased by a mite and is spread through skin contact and occasionally by sharing clothes. In French it is called gale. In german it goes by the name of Krätze. Symptoms include intense itching and a rash caused by the burrowing of the mites. It is normally treated with specific ointments applied to the skin.
According to 20 Minutes, more and more cases are being reported at Swiss schools and kindergartens. A specialist at a hospital in Bern told Sonntags Blick: “I treated between 15 and 20 children myself in 2016. They are mainly refugee children who have come to be checked…they have spent a number of months in places where hygiene is poor.”
The condition is also associated with those living together in crowed conditions. This promotes its spread.
In Zurich, suspected sufferers are allowed to remain at school. In the canton of Solothurn infected children are sent home from school until they have been treated and are no longer contagious.
And while the itching is awful, the condition is fortunately benign.