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Treating scabies


When we jet off to sunnier climes, we sometimes consider the chance of experiencing an upset stomach or a little bit of sunburn. Yet, there are other travel-related ailments, such as scabies, which could be the cause of a travel accident compensation claim.


What is scabies?

Scabies is a serious skin condition caused by tiny mites, which burrow so that they are able to live under the skin. Once under the skin, the Sarcoptes scabiei mites lay eggs, which then go on to hatch and cause severe discomfort for the affected victim.

Although scabies can be contracted in the UK, it is rife in warm countries where medical care is limited. It is passed from person to person through prolonged contact, intimate contact and sharing items such as towels and bed sheets.

According to the NHS, scabies outbreaks are common in subtropical locations, including:

  • Africa
  • Central and South America
  • Northern and Central Australia
  • Caribbean Islands
  • India
  • Southeast Asia

Outbreaks usually occur in densely populated areas too, such as schools, but unfortunately for holidaymakers this means that hotels are also high risk.


How do I treat scabies?

It is important to remember that when we sustain an ailment on holiday, such as scabies, if medical attention is not sought out immediately, you are putting others at risk of contracting the condition.

If you notice upon return to the UK, visit your GP as soon as possible. You and your family will be treated for your holiday skin condition. Typically, a cream or lotion will be prescribed and should be applied all over the skin. Specific instructions of use will be provided by your doctor.

In addition, the NHS advises that on the first day of treatment, you wash all bed linen, towels and nightwear at a temperature above 50 degrees C.


Can I claim compensation for scabies?

When you book your holiday package, including your hotel through a UK holiday company, they have a legal obligation to ensure your health and safety for all aspects of your travel that you have booked through their services.

This means that if you have contracted scabies in your hotel, through no fault of your own, they could be held liable for the condition you have suffered, as the hotel they have endorsed has failed to ensure your health. As such, you could be eligible to claim travel accident compensation.

For more information regarding travel accident compensation, speak with one of Accident Advice Helpline’s specialist advisors today via our freephone helpline number, 0800 689 0500.