SAN JOSE, California (BCN) – The Valley Transportation Authority officials claim that there is no risk of infection for the public of the constituency. This, after four of his drivers became infected with scabies – a small insect that lodges under the skin and causes an itch.
VTA workers placed a dozen buses in quarantine on Friday in the North Court of Authority in Mountain View.
"VTA hired an exterminator to do an extra cleaning of the buses. This is an extra precautionary measure. To make sure our employees and the public have no reason to worry, "said Brandi Childress, VTA spokeswoman.
Scabies is a small insect or mite that sinks into the skin. Once there, it causes a rash spreading fingers. Some passengers now fear that the equipment used in their only means of transportation will now be quarantined.
"It's scary, but I do not have any other option because I only have the VTA," said the bus passenger, Sherajum Monira.
A scabies infection is usually treated with a topical antibiotic, and Santa Clara County Vector Control officials say the infection comes from a closer personal contact. Do not ride or touch a bus.
"In general, it's unlikely we'll have it, say, shaking hands, hugging or anything like that. Sitting on seats is also unlikely, "said Dr. Noor Tietze of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.
VTA officials announced that the 130 buses posted in their northern courtyard would be cleaned up over the weekend. They will suck the seats and wipe the hard surfaces with bleach.
"We take the maintenance and cleanliness of our buses seriously," said Childress.
The 12 impacted buses operate on four lines – 22 and 522 between San José and Palo Alto, and 55 and 88 in the north of the county.
A driver told KTVU that other workers feared that symptoms would occur in the next few days.
"I was a little worried, yes, especially because we could bring this home to our families," he said.
Officials at the VTA said they have distributed information and protocols to about 1,600 bus drivers, while they are trying to figure out how four people contracted scabies.