Monday, June 15, 2009

Scabies and Missionaries

When I lived in Hawaii I contacted scabies from my small children who picked it up in the LDS Church nursery. It takes contact with a kid or someone with them to get scabies. Hot tropical climates and other crowded areas are prone to scabies. Getting them has nothing to do with how clean you are since even clean people can come down with them. I and my kids took a bath every day of our lives as does the missionary in the case below.

The Center for Disease Control says about scabies:

Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.

Scabies occurs worldwide and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent. Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities, and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks.

This week I read Elder S. Tyler Minetto's blog post Scabies and Baptism which reminded me of just how pesky scabies can be:

wEll well well. i hope you all love that title cause its 100 percent true

So this week was interesting. First thing is first.

So my comp and i totally got SCABIS this week. it totally stunk sooooooooooooooooooooooo bad. So i really started itching bad on sunday of last week. And i was just itching SUPER SUPER bad, i totally felt like a stinking monkey cause i would itch my back like every 2 seconds and rub it on trees and things cause i couldnt reach it sometime. hahaha. So then Tues it got really bad and i decided to look at my back and it had a huge red rash all over it. So i called sis hansen and she told mi to take pics and send them to her through the email and she sent them to the mision doctor in Mexico City. She called mi back that night at like 10pm and told mi that my comp and i had scabis. So that same night we went to the store and bought a cream and pills. And the next day our whole body just felt itchy and crazy and that morning sis hansen told us that we had to wash EVERYTHING in our house. So we washed our Graments and we took all our laundry to a washing place and we had to pay 425 pesos….like 40 bucks. Then we washed the house down like crazy. That day we ended up starting to work at like 5pm. It was horrible.

Scabis are like little bugs that get in your skin and lay eggs and then those hatch and it just keeps going. So we finally killed them all. But i think i gave them to some other guys in our zone cause they had some problems too right after us and its getting to be a problem here in the mision now cause alot of people are getting them. boooooooo to scabis. i thought only dogs got them. They killed mi and my comp. hahaha

This elder and his companion were fortunate to knock them off so easily. It took me about two months to kill them the time I had them in Hawaii. Scabies are tricky mites that come out when a person is sleeping and bite the crap out of you so sometimes it takes a while to detect them. Fortunately for these elders they were being bitten while awake. I had to have a doctor look through powerful magnifying glasses to see them since they are so infinitesimally small and hard to detect so they are lucky they were diagnosed with just a picture.

I took Permethrin to kill mine off and it was very harsh on my body. I am sure there are a few other options for killing them. I read that Lindane is used if you are unsuccessful with Permethrin. I am glad the missionaries killed theirs off the first time. I hope I never have to experience scabies again in my life since they are worse than fleas or lice and hurt like crazy. There are a few natural remedies like Thyme to kill them off on the mattress. Wickipedia has a good section on how to treat them.

It is amazing what hardships missionaries have to go through in the service of the Lord. One of the ways to get rid of the eggs of these pesks is to wash everything and I mean everything down including bedding. I even vacuumed the mattress to get rid of their eggs. It is hard to kill the actual scabies because they burrow in your skin and hatch. I am sure most missionaries don't consider that they might confront pesky little creatures like scabies, head lice, ticks, and bed bugs on a mission. These trials will prepare the elders for being parents later.

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