Government

Valley Hi Nursing Home in Woodstock declared free of scabies

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com
Some Valley Hi nursing home workers have filed a union grievance over the scabies outbreak at the facility on Hartland Road near Woodstock. Scabies is an extremely itchy skin disorder that can be passed from one person to another. It is caused by an infestation with a parasite - the scabies mite.
H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Some Valley Hi nursing home workers have filed a union grievance over the scabies outbreak at the facility on Hartland Road near Woodstock. Scabies is an extremely itchy skin disorder that can be passed from one person to another. It is caused by an infestation with a parasite - the scabies mite.

WOODSTOCK – There are no more cases of Norwegian scabies at Valley Hi Nursing Home, according to administrators.

Examinations of the 31 residents who reported having rashes came back negative for the skin disorder, Administrator Tom Annarella said Wednesday. A dermatologist and the home’s medical director conducted the examinations Saturday.

“We are obviously going to stay hypervigilant for the next 12 to 16 weeks to make sure there is no reinfestation, but as of Saturday we are scabies-free,” Annarella said.

Six residents of the county-run nursing home west of Woodstock came down with the highly contagious skin disorder. A July 20 report by the Illinois Department of Public Health concluded that Valley Hi’s plans to control the outbreak were deficient.

Norwegian, or crusted, scabies is a severe form of the disorder caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. Its victims have thick crusts of skin that contain large numbers of the mites and their eggs. Scabies is spread by both direct person-to-person contact and through contamination of clothing, bedding and furniture.

Nursing homes, extended-care facilities, prisons and other crowded places where close skin contact is frequent are common sites of scabies outbreaks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norwegian scabies is most common with the elderly, the disabled and people with compromised immune systems.

Valley Hi confirmed the first case July 1, the day after notifying the McHenry County Department of Health of the issue. Annarella ordered the facility closed to new residents and to visitors, and a treatment plan was implemented for all residents and staff.

The self-imposed ban on new residents will be lifted Friday, Annarella said.

Valley Hi submitted a corrective action plan to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and has a month to correct the deficiencies identified in its report.

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