Kuwait authorities deny reports of scabies outbreak

Health ministry said there was no cause for concern and that the necessary precautions had been taken

Manama: Reports about hundreds of cases of scabies in Kuwait hospitals have been denied again by Kuwaiti officials.

Scabies is a contagious skin disease marked by itching and small raised red spots, caused by the itch mite.

The health ministry said there was no cause for concern and that the necessary measures and precautions had been taken at an early stage in coordination with health services responsible for schools.

Ministry of Health Undersecretary Dr. Mustafa Ridha insisted that no patients had been transferred to any hospital in the past months.

Talking with reporters at a press conference at Adan Hospital on Wednesday, the undersecretary said that the reports about the spread of the disease that were being circulated on social media were baseless and lacked credibility.

It was the second public denial by the undersecretary in days.

On Tuesday, he dismissed claims that 200 scabies patients were being treated in Al Adan Hospital and 70 others in Al Jahra Hospital.

“The reports are utterly false,” the official said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency.

He however added that cases of scabies in the northern Arabian Gulf state “did not exceed their normal rate.”

The undersecretary said that Kuwait had enough medicine to deal with scabies.

“The Ministry is following the developments related to infectious and communicable diseases in the area very closely, and takes into consideration the availability of necessary vaccinations,” he was quoted as saying.

Education Ministry Undersecretary Haitham Al Athari also denied reports that cases of scabies had been detected among students in some schools.

“We are in constant contact with all education district heads in the six governorates and not a single case of scabies has been found,” he said at Al Adan Hospital conference. “The health and education ministries are on regular contacts through their joint committees to ensure the wellbeing of our students.”

According to Kuwaiti daily Al Nahar, the health ministry has filed a suit against those who spread allegations about the spread of scabies in Kuwait.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, health and education authorities reported they were dealing with hundreds of cases among school children, on the western coast.

In Makkah, Education Affairs Director Mohammad Al Harthi warned that strict action would be taken against schools that failed to report case.

He made the statement after some parents threatened to take legal action against schools for not sharing information promptly about scabies cases among students and for not issuing warnings.

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