comscore Kona Community Hospital lifts visitor restrictions after scabies containment | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Kona Community Hospital lifts visitor restrictions after scabies containment

Kona Community Hospital has lifted visitor restrictions following the containment of scabies, a highly contagious skin condition caused by tiny, burrowing mites found in the facility in November.

The scabies, which is spread through skin-to-skin contact, caused intense itching and a pimple-like rash on an undisclosed number of people at the facility.

In December, the hospital closed some of its units to visitors as an “aggressive preventive measure to protect patients and staff from potential exposure to infection.”

Although visitors are now allowed at the hospital, executives said it is “too early to issue an all clear” since scabies can be spread up until eight weeks.

Since confirming an outbreak at the facility on Nov. 19, the hospital said it has taken “aggressive measures to treat, disinfect and contain the scabies situation.”

The facility was disinfected with a mite-specific product and all employees who may have been exposed were treated as a preventive measure, the hospital said, adding that it continues to monitor patients and staff daily. It is also doing community outreach to patients and their families, even those who have been discharged, and regularly updating community health agencies, doctors and the state Health Department on the situation.

For more information, go to health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease listing/scabies/.

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