In Recife, cases of skin lesions that cause itching rise to 149, spread over 23 districts

Recife registered yet another increase in cases of “skin lesions to be cleared up” that cause itching. On Wednesday night (24), the Municipal Health Department (Sesau) reported that the number of occurrences rose from 134 to 149. Other cities in the Metropolitan Region, such as Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Olinda, Paulista and Camaragibe, also have records of the disease, which follows with no known cause.

There are cases in 23 districts of the capital of Pernambuco. More than 80% are concentrated in Dois Irmãos and Guabiraba, and the rest spread out in Boa Viagem, Várzea, Córrego do Jenipapo, Bomba do Hemetério, Encruzilhada, Torre, Graças, Morro da Conceição, Brejo da Guabiraba, Passarinho, Linha do Tiro, Boa Vista, Sítio dos Pintos, Imbiribeira, Ibura, Mangabeira, San Martin, Porto da Madeira, Casa Forte, Cordeiro and Tamarineira.

Since Recife issued the alert, last week, about the outbreak, many people have started to report symptoms that resemble this condition, with the presence of reddish spots accompanied by small lumps, intense itching, crusting and even bleeding. Dermatologists and other doctors who monitor the cases guarantee that it is possible to alleviate these symptoms, which are usually uncomfortable.

The recommendation is to seek a health unit to receive care and treat skin irritations. “What we can do, for now, is control the symptoms. It’s important to avoid inappropriate use of ointments, as well as herbal and plant baths that are said to have the potential to eliminate the lesions. And scratching the area only gets worse. The itching it tends to hurt the skin, scratch, burn and open space for microorganisms to enter the skin”, advises dermatologist Cláudia Ferraz, vice president of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology/Regional Pernambuco (SBD/PE).

At the Hospital das Clínicas of the Federal University of Pernambuco (HC-UFPE), she has already treated people who present these manifestations on the skin. “It’s been 15 days since I started seeing patients with this condition. They are lesions that present themselves differently from person to person. You can’t make a diagnosis just with the clinic (that is, with the naked eye). It’s necessary to conclude the whole thing. the investigation that has been done to come to a conclusion.” According to Cláudia, the places where the lesions appear are diverse. “They manifest themselves not only in exposed areas, such as the legs and arms, which are where insect bites occur most. But we’ve already seen them on the trunk, thighs and abdomen. Therefore, you can’t just think about mosquitoes.”

There are six people in Paulista who have already been notified with skin lesions. In Camaragibe, there are 62 notifications. This Wednesday (24), Jaboatão dos Guararapes, São Lourenço da Mata and Olinda reported that they are investigating 21, six and four cases, respectively.

In Paulista, municipality of Greater Recife, the seller Ricardo Ferreira is one of the people who report being bothered by the intense itching. This Tuesday morning (23), he went to Prontoclínica Torres Galvão, in the city center, to receive medical care. “This itch started two days ago. Yesterday it got even worse. I didn’t sleep; I spent the night scratching myself. I took about ten showers with yellow soap to see if it would go away, but nothing,” said Ricardo.

In the view of dermatologist Cláudia Ferraz, these lesions, accompanied by itching, apparently are not transmitted by contact. “We believe they are not contagious, as we see families in which one person has the condition and others do not. Another detail is that these lesions do not have a significant morbidity (severity). But, at this moment when we do not know the cause, we question whether this it may have some repercussion (on health) if it is a viral condition, as happened with Zika”, stresses Cláudia. Sesau confirms that, so far, there has been no record of aggravation associated with skin lesions and reinforces the importance of people keeping their hands sanitized and not taking medication on their own.

“To relieve symptoms, we can prescribe medication according to each case. We recommend a cold bath, skin hydration, skin repair and, if necessary, antihistamines (antiallergic), which can relieve itching. the wounds on the skin facilitated the contamination of the wounds by bacteria, we indicated an antibiotic. But it is essential to emphasize that these are medications used on medical advice”, emphasizes Cláudia Ferraz.

Also among the possible causes raised to explain the lesions is scabies, popularly known as scabies. “There is a hypothesis that the skin manifestations are due to the direct action of mites. In this contact, scabies enters”, says the infectologist Demétrius Montenegro, head of the infectious-contagious diseases sector at the University Hospital Oswaldo Cruz (Huoc). Regarding the possibility of dealing with arboviruses, he comments that the lesions have presented themselves differently from the exanthema that tends to appear in cases of Zika, for example. “In these cases right now, we’re seeing small bumps on the skin, which cause itchiness, lead to wounds, even bleeding, and form a scab.”

Also, Demetrius talks about differences in the duration of symptoms. “There are patients who get well quickly, but there are others in which the condition takes more than ten days, even when following the treatment to relieve the manifestations (lesions and itching)”, he says. For the infectologist, because the cases began in locations close to forest areas, there is a possibility that the outbreak is caused by an environmental imbalance, which would lead an insect to cause itchy skin lesions.

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