Metro

Scabies alert at Winchester Hospital

More than 20 employees at Winchester Hospital are being treated for possible scabies after officials discovered that a recently admitted patient may have had an active infection, the hospital said Thursday.

The hospital discovered Wednesday that a patient who had previously been admitted may have been infected at the time of admission, the hospital said in a letter to patients.

The patient is currently receiving treatment along with another patient from the same unit and 20 hospital employees who have shown symptoms.

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“Scabies is highly contagious but also highly treatable,” the hospital said in the statement.

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The hospital said it has put “aggressive protocols and procedures” in place to treat those who have been impacted and prevent the infection from spreading.

“We are well-prepared to care for patients with this condition while preventing any new exposure to infection for other staff and patients,” the hospital said.

No changes have been made to scheduled patient care services, the hospital said.

Scabies is commonly spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has it. It can also be spread by contaminated items such as clothing, bedding, and furniture.

Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com