Epidemiology of scabies in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories (Occupied)
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Background: Scabies is a disease that is considered a public health problem in the Palestinian Territories and in other countries around the world. Scabies causes skin lesions leading to substantial morbidity, and is also associated with social stigma. In this study we describe the epidemiology of scabies in the West Bank, Palestine during the years 2005–2010. Methods: We examined the records and profiles of a total of 1734 patients who were admitted to the dermatology clinics of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in 2005–2010. Results: The disease was found to be prevalent in all governorates. The average annual incidence of scabies in the West Bank for 2005–2010 was 17/100 000 population. The average number of scabies patients per year in the West Bank was 26.3 per governorate, with a significant increase in the years 2009 and 2010 (p < 0.001). Disease occurrence was significantly higher among children aged 10 years than in the other age groups, in adult females in the age groups of 31–40 and 41–50 years compared to males in these age groups, and in males in the age group of 11–20 years compared to females in that age group. Conclusions: Scabies was found in all governorates of the Palestinian West Bank. Individuals under 20 years of age are particularly at risk. Compulsory reporting of scabies to the Palestinian Ministry of Health would be expected to increase awareness of the disease, which is crucial for the prevention and control of scabies in the Palestinian Territories.