The number of people contracting the skin disease scabies has increased in recent years.

Nivel, the health care research institute, confirms this on Monday after reporting from the

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.

The institute mainly looks at the number of cases of scabies on an annual basis.

According to researcher Mariëtte Hooiveld, this shows that "there is a slowly increasing trend".

In 2014, for example, it was still 1 case per 100,000 inhabitants.

That increased to 2.1 and 2.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019 and 2020.

In addition, the Nivel reports every week the number of people who contacted their GP for a specific condition.

In recent weeks, there has been a significant increase in the number of people visiting their GP because of scabies.

Hooiveld also sees this sharp increase, but says that these figures cannot simply be added up: "Then you count the people who have visited the GP several times."

According to her, the weekly counts "show mainly the short-term trend".

Nivel cannot explain the increase, because the institute does not conduct research into this.

'Better information is needed'

Scabies is caused by tiny mites that nest under the skin.

The eggs and feces they leave behind can cause irritation and rashes.

The skin disease is transmitted, for example, through used bedding, worn clothing or close physical contact.

Professor of clinical microbiology Heiman Wertheim of Radboudumc in Nijmegen says in the

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that good information about the skin disease is necessary.

Students in student houses in particular should be well informed about recognizing, preventing and treating scabies, says the professor.

"Because the numbers of people with scabies are really too large now."

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