Scabies cases rising again in Netherlands, especially among toddlers in Overijssel
The number of scabies cases in the Neterhaldns is rising again and is currently at its highest point since it peaked in early December, according to research institute Nivel. The institute reported a striking number of infections among 0 to 4-year-olds in Overijssel.
Currently, 42 out of 100,000 Netherlands residents have scabies. At the beginning of December, the number of infections was 44 out of 100,000. “We may still exceed that number, but it is difficult to predict,” Nivel researcher Mariette Hooiveld said to NU.nl.
The number of people with this itchy skin condition is much higher than this time last year when 17 per 100,000 people had scabies. In the years before, the number fluctuated around 10.
The most recent increase showed a striking number of patients in the age group 0 to 4 years. Scabies is usually most common among people aged 15 to 24. According to Hooiveld, this increase among toddlers can be explained by an outbreak in Overijssel. She thinks a young child contracted scabies and spread it at daycare. There was also an increase in adults with scabies in the province.
Scabies is a skin infection caused by scabies mites. The tiny critters dig tunnels on the skin's surface and lay eggs, causing an intensely itchy rash. The number of scabies infections in the Netherlands has been rising since October 2021.