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Scabies outbreak worsens

Parents of Cumberland County Public Schools students received a letter Wednesday updating them on the worsening outbreak of scabies at the school district.

Amy Griffin

The original letter sent home with students on Oct. 3 stated that the outbreak was affecting a limited number of students and was contained to the elementary school. According to Wednesday’s update, the district has experienced 12 confirmed cases in the last week, including seven elementary school students, two middle school students, one high school student, one elementary school teacher and one middle school teacher.

Division Superintendent Amy Griffin said in her letter to parents, “As stated in the Virginia Department of Health Scabies Fact Sheet, symptoms can appear anywhere from two to six weeks after exposure, so we all must continue to be persistent in checking for symptoms daily, cleaning, and treatment along with following protocol for diagnosed cases (treating family members, laundering bedding, etc).”

In her letter, Griffin thanked parents and guardians for being diligent in checking their children for symptoms of scabies. She also assured family members that the school division is continuing to take extra steps in cleaning the elementary, middle and high schools, as well as buses. She also thanked the school nurses, custodial staff, bus drivers, teachers and other administration for the work that they have put in thus far in attempting to prevent the spread of the disease.

Due to the lengthy amount of time that it can take for symptoms to appear, Dr. Griffin stated in her letter that she would provide an update each Wednesday and Friday throughout the next six weeks or more regarding any new confirmed cases.

“Again, we will continue to monitor for symptoms and take extra steps in cleaning,” Griffin’s letter continued. “We ask that you continue to check your children daily at home and do not send your children to school with symptoms. If your child is diagnosed with scabies — please treat the entire family, launder bedding, and notify the school of the diagnosis. Working together will prevent further cases.”

For more information, parents and concerned individuals can refer to the Virginia Department of Health Scabies Fact Sheet on Cumberland County Public Schools website at www.cucps. k12.va.us.