comscore Kona Community Hospital closes some units to visitors due to scabies outbreak
Hawaii News | Top News

Kona Community Hospital closes some units to visitors due to scabies outbreak

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

Kona Community Hospital closed some of its units to visitors Wednesday due to a severe outbreak of scabies, a highly contagious skin condition caused by tiny burrowing mites that cause extreme itching, rash and lesions.

Hospital leadership made the decision to “temporarily close all patient units to visitors until further notice” as an “aggressive preventive measure to protect patients and staff from potential exposure to infection.”

“We understand that community members are concerned about exposure to scabies. It is treatable and is not life threatening,” spokeswoman Judy Donovan said in a news release, adding that hospital employees are informing patients about the temporary closure to visitors.

The hospital has made exceptions for those in the obstetrics unit and for pediatric surgery patients. Outpatient services also remain open.

Health officials confirmed scabies at the facility Nov. 19 after a number of individuals reported similar symptoms. They would not disclose how many people have been infected by scabies, which can spread quickly from person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact. Officials also wouldn’t comment on the source of the outbreak.

The microscopic mites burrow and lay eggs in the outer layers of the skin and can live there for months if untreated.

Kona Hospital officials said they will update the community on the situation on Friday. For more information, click here.

Correction: Kona Community Hospital has closed some units to visitors because of a scabies outbreak. A previous version of this story and in Friday’s print edition said entire units of the hospital would be closed.
Comments (7)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up