[Question #3137] Concern about transmitting crabs

37 months ago
Hello, 

Long story short, two days ago I discovered I had crabs in my Pubic region. It has been a stressful ordeal, particularly since I don’t know who I got it from, but I’ve seemingly had some good results from the first treatment using Rid. I’m hoping to move on with my life. 

Compounding this issue is that my parents stayed over at my apartment last Saturday (4 days before I discovered the lice). I offered them to have my bed. I’m worried that they may have been exposed to these horrible little things by sleeping in my bed. Of note, I did wash the sheets that day but not the blankets. However, the infestation on me was considerable and I don’t know how long it had been like that. 

What is the likelihood of them being infested with these lice from my bed? I know it’s considered an STI, but that there could be some environmental routes to exposure. I am conflicted telling them about this, because of how embarrassing it is (and I’m sure they’d overreact) - but if the risk is justifiable enough I do want them to know in case this becomes a problem for them. 

I look forward to hearing your advice. Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
37 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  While transmitted sexually, crabs can also be spread non-sexually as well, through exposure to contaminated clothes or bedding.  There are no good data on the efficiency of transmission and most clinicians prefer to treat contacts as a precaution.  Thus, using an abundance of caution, it would be my advice to let your parents know of your discovery and have them take appropriate precautions (i.e. washing bedding and clothes, RID, etc.)  EWH
---
37 months ago
Thank you for your reply. I also live with a roommate, but certainly don’t share bed linens, towels, or clothes with him. Should I tell him as well, if simply living in proximity to someone is enough of a risk?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
37 months ago
As long as you do not share clothes and lines, I would not worry.  EWH
---