Weekly scabies cases at new all-time peak in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has reached a new high in scabies infections. Weekly figures show that the number of cases reported during the first calendar week of the year surpassed even the highest levels reported at any time in 2021, when the Netherlands set an annual record, according to data from research institute Nivel.
Young people are particularly affected, with GPs reporting that most of the patients they see are in the age group 15 to 24 years. Scabies can be transmitted through prolonged physical contact, such as during sex or while sleeping in the same bed.
The condition is caused by scabies mites that dig tunnels in the skin and lay eggs there. This triggers a reaction that causes intense itching.
The number of diagnosed scabies cases in the Netherlands more than quadrupled between 2011 and 2020. “In 2014, three were still 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and this number increased to 210 cases in 2019 and 260 in 2020,” Nivel said in an earlier report.
The number of cases shot up further in 2021, setting a new all-time high when cases doubled during the last few months of the year. That peak was surpassed during the first calendar week in October of this year.
According to the GP site Thuisarts, doctors usually prescribe permethrin cream to treat scabies. Sufferers are also advised to wash their clothes, bedding, and towels.