Local elementary school closes for cleaning after scabies cases discovered

Local elementary school closes for cleaning after scabies cases discovered

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Students are out for the week at both locations of one local elementary school after a teacher and student got scabies.

Benjamin Franklin Elementary School administrators sent the notice out to parents Monday evening (Oct. 15).

School leaders told FOX 8 that one student and one teacher were diagnosed with confirmed cases. They say they are closing both their Nashville Avenue and Gentilly campuses out of an abundance of caution.

Students were scheduled to start fall break Wednesday (Oct. 17), but school leaders say they are extending fall break to clean and sanitize.

Dr. Eric Griggs advises parents to make a doctor’s appointment if they notice symptoms.

“You want to look for symptoms of rash. You need to look at excessive itching and you need to go to the doctor, so for as of right now, there have been no over-the-counter treatments of scabies, so you can go to the doctor, get a creme and they’ll go away. Within about 24 hours the kids should be fine, but you need to wash all the bedding, dry cleaning - anything that might have come into contact with it,” said Griggs.

Dr. Griggs says there are instances where symptoms don’t appear for four to six weeks, but when treated, the mites should go away after 24 hours.

Scabies cases are common and are not cause to close a school, according to public health officials.

In a statement, a school spokesperson said they felt it was a needed step to promote safety and cleanliness:

In an abundance of caution, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s Middle School campus at 401 Nashville and it’s Lower School Campus at 6101 Chatham Dr. are closed, beginning Tuesday, October 16, due to a possible exposure to scabies in one of its classrooms. We are closing the school to sanitize our facilities so that we may reopen after the Fall Break. Our Fall Break was always scheduled Oct. 17-19. We will reopen Monday, October 22, 2018. Parent conferences on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Gentilly campus are being rescheduled. A scabies outbreak is a common occurrence in schools, and while closure is not required by public health officials, school staff felt it was a needed step to promote safety and cleanliness, as well as prevent spread among children and staff.

YOUR SPECIFIC PARENT QUESTIONS:

1. One student and one teacher at the middle school campus have a confirmed case of scabies, but once the teacher diagnosis was confirmed today, and since there is movement among staff between campuses, we decided to close the Gentilly campus as well as the Nashville campus out of caution.

2. The school first learned of the Nashville diagnosis for the student on Friday. The child was no longer considered contagious but it was in our community’s best interest to take these steps.

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