Scabies incidence remains high this year in the Netherlands
A relatively high number of people are suffering from scabies in the Netherlands. Since the beginning of the year, the number of infections has been consistently higher than the previous year. While there was a brief decline in cases, recent weeks have seen a resurgence in numbers. It is primarily individuals aged 15 to 25 who are contracting the condition, according to the Nivel research institute.
In the past week, about 20 out of every 100,000 individuals sought medical advice from their general practitioner for scabies. This is twice as many as during the same week in 2021 and 2022. Furthermore, since October 2021, general practitioners have reported seeing more patients with scabies than is typical.
Patients with scabies experience various skin issues and severe itching. The condition spreads via the scabies mite. This tiny creature is easily transmitted from person to person. While scabies is not dangerous, it is often very unpleasant.
Dr. Rosa Joosten of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIMV) pointed out that young people are very socially active. "They interact with each other in various ways," she explained. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, students frequently met at each other's homes. However, since the end of the pandemic, young people have been traveling around the country more frequently. As a result, scabies is spreading across the Netherlands.
Last year, the scabies spread was also linked to the introductory weeks for new students. Those orientation weeks are set to begin again soon.
Reporting by ANP