I’m a fan of vaccines, a real big fan of them. They’ve helped our dairy cows for decades and saved millions of human lives. But this post isn’t about vaccines.

These thoughts post are about a lesson I am learning today of the risk to an entire herd by extension of it’s most at-risk member.

YOPI – Young, Old, Pregnant, Immunocompromised. This is the term we use when we are discussing populations at highest risk for contracting an infectious disease. My baby girl Katarina is very young and that means we have a YOPI in our home.

Anyway, our dear little YOPI contracted scabies (sarcoptic mange) sometime in the last couple weeks, and she exposed her herdmates (mom and dad) to it.

Thankfully the spiteful little mites are easy to be rid of. As obligate parasites, they can’t live for more than a couple days when away from their human hosts. They cause a raging itchy rash, but they are sensitive to permethrin, and a single treatment is curative.

We took the oily white paste (texture of sunscreen with a metallic smell) and rubbed it all over our bodies. Between every toe and finger and including every other place where the skin folds over itself.

My awesome wife attacked the environment with vigor and washed all expoed surfaces in our home as well as about a dozen loads of laundry in a couple days.

No more mites. The herd survived, and our little YOPI is ok.

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