Epidemiology of scabies in relation to socio-economic and selected climatic factors in north-east Poland
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Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM), Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Faculty of Animal Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Warsaw, Poland
Corresponding author
Joanna Korycinska   

Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM), Olsztyn, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020;27(3):374-378
Scabies is a contagious parasitic disease, a skin infestation caused by Scaroptes scabieri, tiny mites that burrow under the skin. Outbreaks of scabies can be difficult to control and require the implementation of appropriate control programme.

The purpose of the study was to analyze the epidemiology of scabies in north-east Poland, considering socio-economic and selected climatic factors.

Material and methods:
The analysis was based on data reports (n=26,362) obtained from the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ) for the period 2007–2014. Monthly climate data were collected from the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management/National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) in Warsaw, including data on temperature and relative humidity. Additionally, the influence of socio-economic factors on the prevalence of scabies was analyzed. Data on population size, medical staff, and unemployment rate were obtained from the Central Statistical Office (GUS) in Warsaw, and analyzed using SPSS Statistics 24.0 programme.

The age group of 10–19 years showed the highest infestation rates. Seasonality of scabies was demonstrated. The highest numbers of cases were reported during the autumn and winter months. There was a significant negative correlation (rho = -0.499; p<0.001) between air temperature and the incidence of scabies, and a positive correlation (r = 0.532; p<0.001) between relative humidity and the number of cases reported. A rise in the unemployment rate also caused an increase in the scabies incidence rate (r = 0.294; p<0.001).

The results suggest that an improvement of socio-economic conditions may contribute to a reduction in the number of scabies infections. The possibility should be considered of monitoring the parameters, such as air temperature and humidity, particularly when scabies outbreaks occur.

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