There’s been a scabies outbreak in Cardiff so we spoke to students who have been infected

We’re itching just thinking about it

We don’t know about you but when we moved to university we expected an illness or two. Freshers’ Flu and the common cold seemed inevitable for every student but it’s safe to say not many of us had not considered scabies to be a problem.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it (because we hadn’t), scabies is a skin infection that is spread after prolonged skin-on-skin contact but is treated easily with a topical cream.

With an outbreak in Cardiff happening right now, we asked Cardiff students about all of their experiences with scabies.

‘It’s been very stressful’

Following their partners and housemates receiving a diagnosis of scabies, these healthcare students had to run around Cardiff to find scabies treatment to ensure they could go back to uni as soon as possible.

Luckily they caught the symptoms very early on so they didn’t experience any intense itching. This week they both had to miss 24 hours of lectures in order to follow occupational health protocol at Cardiff University and NHS guidance.

They told The Cardiff Tab: “It’s been very stressful but we are happy to have it under control now.”

‘I have never washed so much in my life’

After hearing a few stories about scabies spreading around Cardiff recently this student was nervous about potentially catching it but felt it was unlikely until they noticed an itchy rash on their hand after a night out in the SU.

After breaking the news to their housemates they all rushed to get the treatment which cost a hefty £26 for the two doses.

Although they did find out later on you can get this for free from NHS pharmacies, they said they wanted to treat it as soon as possible so were “happy to pay”.

The whole house had to wash all of their bedding, blankets, cushion covers, and clothes at 60 degrees celsius to kill the mites.

They also followed NHS guidance by bagging up all of their belongings which they couldn’t wash that they had touched in the last three days. This meant their house was covered in free bin bags (thanks to the SU) which were full of cushions and coats.

Imagine not being able to wear your coat in rainy Cardiff for three days, sounds like a nightmare to us.

‘I wanted to rip my skin off’

One second year student spoke to The Cardiff Tab about their first year scabies experience.

She described the itching as driving them insane and said: “You go crazy from it because you are itching all the time. I wanted to rip my skin off.”

This student’s itching was so bad she stayed in a Premier Inn for a night following treatment as all of her items were in bin bags to allow for the mites to die whilst she was away.

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