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NORFOLK (AP) -- Three dozen former patients at a Norfolk hospital have been told they may have been exposed to scabies.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital informed the former patients they would receive a prescription skin cream as a preventative measure.

'This type of scabies is a severe form of a condition caused by the human itch mite,' said Deborah Quinn, nurse practitioner at Pariser Dermatology. 'It is irritating to the skin and can lie dormant for two weeks before symptoms appear. The prescription cream must be applied everywhere before relief begins to occur within 24 hours.'

Vice president of patient care services Jennifer Burrows tells The Virginian-Pilot a patient with scabies was admitted earlier this month. An employee contracted it from the patient, and eight other workers and another patient also showed signs of scabies and were treated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, scabies is caused by a microscopic mite that burrows into the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms are intense itching and a pimple-like rash. The scabies mite spreads by skin-to-skin contact and through clothing, bedding and furniture.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

AP-WF-08-30-13 1143GMT

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