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  • Ethan Manera

Mite Mania: Capital Hall Under Scabies Siege

Words by Ethan Manera (he/him)

Freshers have been left itching and scratching as an unwelcome guest has taken over VUW’s Capital Hall: an outbreak of the small skin burrowing mite commonly known as scabies.

Salient understands a small group of residents first noticed some unwelcome itches two weeks ago, and have since informed staff they were receiving treatment for scabies, causing mite hysteria throughout the hall. 

A TikTok video filmed by a resident shows common rooms cordoned off with yellow and black safety tape and “do not enter” signs, as well as a printed out notice which was put under residents doors announcing “confirmed case of scabies in our hall”.

A Capital resident Salient spoke to said they are “not surprised” that that the hall has scabies as “its fucking disgusting” and “everyone is filthy”.

They said that residents were all asked to wash their sheets, which became an issue as “half the people in this hall don't know how to turn the washing machine on” 

“All the common spaces are getting heavily deep cleaned with intense chemicals to kill the skin nits,” the source confirmed.

They also raised concern about the timing of the outbreak, which occurred at the start of the mid-Tri break, saying, “we could be spreading it all over NZ”

A spokesperson for the university has assured Salient that the situation is under control, with all known cases receiving treatment and advice from Mauri Ora Student Health. They said that the common rooms have since reopened and that the laundry facilities “only enable hot water washing to support our students in avoiding a range of communicative illnesses, including scabies.”

The World Health Organisation describes scabies as “a parasitic infestation caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and lay eggs, causing intense itching and a rash.” The pinhead sized mites are easily contagious in shared living environments but are not necessarily a sign of poor hygiene. The true number of cases within Capital Hall, known for its feral behaviour, is unknown. 


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