THE Balearic Islands has reported 44 outbreaks of scabies this year up to early November with 19 affecting families or homes, 12 in social and health centres and 11 in schools.
Mallorca accounts for the overwhelming number of scabies outbreaks- 39- while there were two each in Ibiza and Menorca, with one in Formentera.
The 2022 total of outbreaks was already exceeded on November 9.
Scabies is an itchy skin rash caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei.
Intense itching occurs in the area where the mite burrows and the need to scratch may be stronger at night.
Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly through close person-to-person contact in a family, child care group, school class, nursing home or prison.
Because scabies spreads so easily, health experts often recommend treating the entire family or any close contacts.
It can easily be treated with medicated skin creams or pills kill the mites that cause scabies and their eggs.
The Balearics Epidemiology service says that the increase in outbreaks in educational settings is possibly down to a new protocol allowing a greater reporting of cases.
From 2006 to 2022, 114 outbreaks of scabies have been detected in the Balearic Islands, with 2022 being the year with the most outbreaks (29).
Since 2006, a total of 22 outbreaks have accumulated in nursing homes and 20 in educational centres.
The Epidemiology service says that their figures may not tell the full story as scabies is not a notifiable disease.