Scabies Outbreak in Tulwei Sub-District, Central Gonja

Opare JKL, Mensah KA, Marfo B, Harvie T, Asiedu O and Alomatu B

Published on: 2022-03-18


In response to the rapid spread of COVID?19 at the start of the pandemic, Ghana introduced severe measures of home confinement and isolation of the population in an effort to prevent the health systems from collapsing. On October 5th, 2020 the Neglected Tropical Disease Programme was informed about an increase in skin infections suspected to be scabies in the Central-Gonja District of Ghana. We investigated to verify the diagnosis, describe the magnitude and recommend control measures. We conducted a descriptive investigation and active case-search. We defined a scabies case- patient as an inhabitant of the Tulwei Sub-district, Central-Gonja from January-October 10th 2020 with rash, severe pruritus and/or mite burrows, the mites, mite eggs, or mite faeces identified in a skin scraping. We performed univariate analysis using epi-info-version 3.3. We identified a total of 154 scabies cases with an overall attack rate of 16.3 per 1000 population with no scabies related death (CFR = 0). Of the total scabies cases, 65% (100/154) were females. The most affected body part was the hand (29%). A typical mite‘s egg was identified. The average household-occupancy was between 10-14 persons and many of the household members use the same towel and sponge for bathing. Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis was identified in the scabies outbreak in Tulwei Sub-district. The use of the same towel and sponge among household members was a major risk factor. Mass treatment with benzene benzoate lotion and ivermectin was initiated based on our recommendations and this controlled the outbreak.