Parents of elementary school students in Bristol said they’re livid after learning that a possible skin disease was spreading at a school.
They said they didn’t find out about the situation at the South Side Elementary School from school leaders. It was the city’s health department that parents said alerted them to the scabies scare.
Charles Motes from the Bristol-Burlington Health Department said one child was affected. The school nurse was able to identify the student. The child was taken to the doctor and treated.
The student is back in school.
In a statement, School Superintendent Ellen Solek said "The Bristol Public Schools continues to focus on student and staff safety and wellness as a prime concern. Therefore, we are following all state and local guidelines regarding detailed school cleaning and disinfecting protocols across the district."
Parents said the focus is trying to protect their children from the highly contagious disease.
"I checked my parent folder, there's no notices,” said April Rustic, a parent. “I didn't receive any text alerts from the school so I was completely unaware."
The lack of notice also infuriated Ewa Torres and a number of other parents who spoke to Eyewitness News.
Michael O'Keefe is a South Side School parent and said he gets daily texts from Bristol schools but he didn't receive any notification about the possible scabies.
"We get emails all the time about the simplest things," O'Keefe said, adding that he's upset he wasn't notified about this.
Doctors said scabies is usually caused by a mite bite and can cause an irritating, itchy rash.
"It comes from the hands or the private parts, around the belly button and sometimes around the ankles,” said Dr. Frank Santoro, Hartford Healthcare Medical Group. “It’s a very itchy rash. You usually see bumps there when it's developing."
Santoro told Eyewitness News that scabies can be found in adults and children, but it’s seen more often with children because they touch each other so frequently.
"It's a little concerning,” Rustic said. “We've been here two years and there's never been an outbreak of any diseases."
Bristol’s health department said in a letter to parents that the school was thoroughly cleaned. Motes said the situation was "thoroughly under control."
Solek said school nurses and medical professionals will continue to closely monitor students and staff.
"We continue to encourage all students and staff to practice effective hygiene habits such as frequent hand washing," Solek said.
According to doctors, scabies symptoms can take up to two months to develop. Anyone who may have come in contact with someone who has scabies can wash their clothes in hot water.
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