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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Kuwait denies scabies outbreak after spike in cases in Saudi Arabia

Thousands of cases were recorded by the ministry of health in Makkah earlier this week

Illegal immigrants wait to take a shower and be examined by doctors on August 11, 2009 in Calais, a key exit point to Britain in northern France, after scabies plague is extending among the immigrant population. AFP
Illegal immigrants wait to take a shower and be examined by doctors on August 11, 2009 in Calais, a key exit point to Britain in northern France, after scabies plague is extending among the immigrant population. AFP

Kuwait yesterday dismissed claims of a scabies outbreak in the country after reports emerged of a wave in cases spreading eastward from Makkah to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of cases were recorded by the Ministry of Health in Makkah this week. Of the 2,156 cases, more than 80 per cent – 1,774 – were of children.

Meanwhile, the kingdom’s Ministry of Health said that 16 cases of scabies were found in schools south of Riyadh.

Saad Al Qahtani, a ministry spokesman, said that health inspectors were dispatched to a school after one of its pupils was treated for scabies at King Salman hospital.

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“That one report led us to send health inspectors to the school, and doctors found 13 cases among the boys,” he said.

Two pupils at an all-girls school in another part of the capital, he said, were also found to have scabies.

Mr Al Qahtani said the situation was under control and that scabies is treatable.

Kuwait denied reports that many cases were recorded in hospitals across the country.

“The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Mustafa Reda, denied media reports that more than 200 scabies cases were found in Adan Hospital and 70 in Jahra Hospital,” the Kuwaiti Health Ministry posted on Twitter.

Dr Reda said that the numbers were not based on actual data and that the number of scabies cases in the country did “not exceed the normal rate”.

Also yesterday, the Kuwaiti ministry of education released a statement that no cases of scabies had been found in schools and urged parents to refrain from spreading false information.