Interventions for preventing the spread of infestation in close contacts of people with scabies

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There is currently no evidence to say if treating or advising people who have been in contact with scabiesinfected people is effective in preventing the spread of scabies infection.

Scabies is a common parasitic infection. People may be infected with scabies for several weeks before developing symptoms. During this time, it is possible to spread the infection to other people. Consequently, people who are in contact with suspected cases of scabies infection are often given preventative treatments in an attempt to stop the development of symptoms. Preventive treatment also aims to prevent further spread of the infection and to prevent the person who was the source of infection from getting re-infected. This review assesses the effects of prophylactic interventions for contacts of people with scabies to prevent infestation in the contacts. The authors searched for studies in which individuals who had been in contact with scabies‐infected people had been given medical treatment, or had been advised about personal hygiene to prevent the scabies infection from spreading. Inclusion criteria also included studies designed so that the treatment received by participants (either medication or advice) was determined by chance. No study fulfilled any studies fulfilling these criteria. Researchers need to conduct studies with people who may have been in skin contact with a person who has been diagnosed with a scabies infection within the previous six weeks.

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