Jeanette Reynolds currently has a few extra loads of laundry to take care of.
“I'm washing everything I've been in contact with or worn over the past two weeks so I can make sure it will be clear of mites,” says Reynolds. “Because the QEII apparently has scabies on the sixth floor.”
Two weeks ago, Reynold’s 76-year-old mother Lorna MacDonald was admitted to Halifax's QEII Health Sciences Centre with a heart issue. Reynolds says her mother was put into a room with a woman who already had a rash.
“I started getting itchy on my back, my legs were itching, and my back was itching,” says MacDonald. “Then I broke out in a rash."
When MacDonald was discharged from the hospital on Friday, she was prescribed a topical cream, which doctors say was a precautionary treatment.
"I have a right to know what's going on in the space that I visit, that my family members visit,” says Reynolds. “If it's unhealthy, I should be given a precautionary heads-up."
The Nova Scotia Health Authority confirms there was one confirmed case of scabies detected at the hospital in recent weeks, although it was reported on a different floor than the floor MacDonald stayed on.
In a statement the Nova Scotia Health Authority said:
"Nova Scotia Health Authority can confirm that there has been an occurrence of scabies on 8.1 of the Halifax Infirmary at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. To date, we have had one patient who has been diagnosed with scabies. That patient is on appropriate precautions.
Any patients and staff members in close proximity to the patient have been treated or received prophylaxis treatment with lotion or cream as determined by treating physicians and occupational health, safety, and wellness."
Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the outer layers of the skin. It can be spread by physical touch or clothing and bedding, which is why Reynolds is concerned for herself and her family.
"My mom’s sister, who is in a nursing home, has been affected, and there are more than 200 people in her nursing home, myself, my sisters, my dad, my brother, cousins. All of their social network – it's huge," says Reynolds.
MacDonald requires home care, which has been cancelled until at least Monday due to the infestation. Meanwhile, Reynolds continues to seek answers from the health authority.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Allan April