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‘Highly contagious’ skin disease detected in Haiti – said to have these signs and symptoms

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Ministry of Public Health and Population (Haiti) – MSPP has issued a warning to the public about a “highly contagious” skin infection that’s similar to scabies and has been found in numerous parts of the country, according to an official statement posted Thursday.

“The Ministry takes this opportunity to advise anyone who presents the following signs and symptoms to go to the nearest health institution: itching and itchy skin lesions, especially at night,” detailed the public body, which has not given specific numbers of infected.

Likewise, the country’s health authorities have recommended a series of measures to citizens to avoid becoming infected and thus spreading the new disease.

“The MSPP encourages you to apply the following preventive measures: avoid direct contact with an infected person; boil bedding; disinfect clothing, sheets, pillows and towels; ventilate spaces and shower with clean water,” they advised.

Infected people should also avoid scratching their skin, despite their desire to do so, and be careful not to spread the disease and infect others, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

Lack of adequate infrastructure, overcrowding in popular neighborhoods, and limited access to water are breeding grounds for the spread of these diseases in a country that, in 2010, experienced a cholera outbreak with an official death toll of 10,000 people, though sociopolitical organizations and human rights organizations estimate that the true figure is three times higher.

In February, the NGO Doctors of the World warned that 4.4 million people, or roughly 40% of Haiti’s population, require humanitarian assistance in the country, where nearly half a million people live without running water.

The situation has worsened, according to the group, as a result of an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale that struck in August 2021, killing over 2,000 people and destroying 60,000 buildings.

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