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Scabies Outbreak in Riyadh Region.


To find out the reasons for the increased number of cases of scabies in the Riyadh region during April/May 1996, the effect of the control measures and extent of knowledge people had before and after the outbreak.


This is a Case control study, conducted at the Dermatology clinic in Riyadh Medical Complex Hospital (RMC). All newly diagnosed and followed up cases seen in the dermatology clinic at RMC during the first two weeks of May 1996 were included in the study. Fifteen families with an index case were interviewed to answer specially prepared questionnaires to meet the objectives of the study. In addition, 50 other families were selected as controls.


28 patients were diagnosed with scabies in the 15 families, and 56 controls matched by age, sex and residence were selected. The mean age for patient was 15 years, 57% were children and 68% were students. The main risk factor for transmission of the disease was the number of persons in the sleeping room (P value = 0.0048). The type and size of house and the personal habits and hygiene were not statistically significant risk factors for disease transmission. Public knowledge about the disease was limited before the outbreak. Public awareness has improved as result of the health education sessions.


The principle risk factor for scabies transmission was crowding in sleeping rooms