AN OUTBREAK of scabies has been reported at an Oswaldtwistle high school.

Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School has posted a notice on their school web page alerting parents and pupils to the infection.

Scabies is an inflammation of the skin caused by a tiny parasite which burrows into the skin causing a rash.

Symptoms include an allergic-type rash anywhere on the body, but often on the fingers, wrists, around the waist and on the buttocks, and itching, particularly at night or after hot baths.

On the school’s website, headteacher Paul Trickett said: “It has come to our attention that there have been a few isolated cases of scabies in school.

“Obviously, we do not wish to alarm parents or carers, but feel that you should be aware, so that you can look out for signs at home.

“Our school nurse is liaising with us and we are informing students of the symptoms and causes, through classes and assemblies.

“If you suspect your son or daughter may have scabies, please take them to see your GP as soon as possible.

“If they confirm the diagnosis, then please would you let the school know. We of course would treat this information as confidential.

“Once a diagnosis is confirmed, then it can be easily treated with a cream prescribed by your GP.

“It must be treated though, otherwise it may spread. The few cases we know of in school, have successfully been treated.”

A spokesman for the Health protection Agency said: “We have been notified of the cases of scabies. We have given the school advice about treatment and the school nurses are dealing with the issue.

“The school is treating the situation seriously and is taking the appropriate action.”