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Scabies Outbreak Investigation in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia in 2018


Scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis. Globally it's expected to infect more than two hundred million people with a prevalence range of 0.2% to 71%. In Saudi Arabia, there is a lack of epidemiological studies regarding the prevalence and risk factors for scabies. This investigation aimed to investigate suspected scabies outbreak and to support the local health department in their control measures in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2018.


A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted including all listed cases by the preventive medicine department from 5/4/2018 to 20/4/2018. Collected data by line listed and structure questioner was tabulated, entered and analyzed using Excel and SPSS for descriptive analysis.


During the study period, A total of 78 clinically diagnosed Scabies cases reported in Riyadh city. Among them, 51 (65%) were males, and 27(35%) were females. The majority of cases were Saudis, only 9 (12%) cases belonged to other nationalities. The mean age was (16) years, ranging from (1) year to (59) years.


Investigation of this outbreak has shown us that this outbreak was not a real outbreak. But in fact, it was sporadic cases, which identified at a short time as a result of the scabies outbreak that occurred in Mecca and the subsequent spread in the social media which led to amplified the problem. In addition to the overdiagnosis of emergency and general clinics doctors without referring to a dermatology specialist.