HUMAN SCABIES is a contagious disease caused by the mite "sarcoptes scabiei". Patients with scabies seek advise because they itch or have a wide spread erruption in which itch is a dominant feature.
Because the itch in scabies is marked scratching is universal and unavoidable. Complication such as secondary infection are common. Streptococcal infection may give rise to acute glomerulonephritis. In view of human suffering and the risk of acute glomerulonephritis, and as scabies is [at least] theoritically capable of being eradicated or reduced to negligible proportions, it should be high on the list for urgent attention. Scabies may serve as a model of an infectious disease that can be eradicated. Perhaps a start could be made by the clinicians World Health Organization instituting "The Year of the Mite". The following pages will soon show the reader how important scabies has been through out history. How much human suffering it has caused and is causing and how it still looms large as daily challenges to diagnosis and therapy. Previously, scabies was associated with overcrowding and poor living conditions but not this is not the cause. People from all walks of life have been found to be susceptible. Close contact with an infected person is usually necessary for transmission and it is now unknown for infected patients to cantaminate others by direct contact or indirectly via their clothing beddings or towels