The history of scabies dates far back. Rabelais says that Anak was expert in eliminiting the itch mite from the fingers.1 Anak lived before the time of Moses, and his children, the Anakin, were giants so large that ordinary people looked to them like grasshoppers. This superior attitude is not unusual, but it seems that the converse was also true, that the rest of the community regarded themselves, in contrast with the children of Anak, as grasshoppers, a surprising exhibition of humility.2 Rabelais does not mention whether Anak restricted his medical attentions to his own family, but under the circumstances it is altogether probable that he did so.
Many persons nowadays do not take Rabelais seriously, and even I at times feel toward him like the Irish bishop who, on reading "Gulliver's Travels," laid down the volume with the remark that he did not believe that half the
MONTGOMERY DW. THE ITCH MITE AND ITS BURROW. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1924;10(4):473–477. doi:10.1001/archderm.1924.02360280067011
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: