Posted 1 week ago

Cases have been on the rise in London

There has been a recent increase in scabies cases in London and more widely across the UK. Communal living arrangements such as university residences can present a heightened risk of communicable disease transmission, so the following is some guidance to help reduce the risk of an outbreak.  

Understanding Scabies

Scabies is an itchy rash caused by mites, leading to general skin irritation and discomfort. Scabies is not usually a serious condition, but it does need to be treated. 

Recognising the Symptoms

Scabies can be recognised by severe itching, which often intensifies at night. The rash would include tiny red bumps, blisters and spots. The scabies rash usually spreads across the whole body, apart from the head and neck. It often affects skin between the fingers, around the wrists, under the arms, and around the waist, groin and bottom. These symptoms usually appear several weeks after the initial infestation. 


Scabies is typically spread through prolonged direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has scabies. Indirect transmission can occur through sharing items like bedding, towels, and clothing. 

If You Have Symptoms

If you notice these symptoms or suspect you might have scabies, we strongly encourage you to consult your GP (General Practitioner) as soon as possible. Your GP can provide a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent further transmission. If your doctor recommends treatment for scabies, please inform them that you live in a hall of residence with other students, and explain what facilities you share (e.g. shared bathroom and kitchen, or catered dining hall, etc.). If you are not currently registered with an NHS GP surgery, please visit the following NHS webpage: How to register with a GP surgery

Protecting Our Community

In keeping with our commitment to the health and safety of our entire community, if you are diagnosed with scabies, we kindly ask for you to share this information with us. Please inform your Warden or a member of our staff immediately. For contact information, please see our Campuslife article: How to get in touch with the warden’s team. This will allow us to support you and ensure appropriate measures are taken to safeguard all residents. 

Additional Information

For more information about scabies, its transmission, symptoms, and treatment options, please visit the NHS website: NHS UK - Scabies

We understand that health conditions such as this can be sensitive, so please rest assured that your privacy and well-being are our top priorities. Your proactive cooperation is crucial in helping us maintain a safe environment for everyone through the mitigation of risk to the wider community.