Scabies outbreak hits Elysée's Republican Guard

15th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Three officers from the Elysée presidential palace's Republican Guard have fallen ill in an apparent outbreak of scabies, a disease usually linked to squalor, police officials said on Wednesday.

Several measures were "immediately taken" following the outbreak including upgrades to the Guard's rooms at the Elysée palace, said a statement from the gendarmerie police that includes the Republican Guard.

But an anonymous letter leaked to the press by members of the palace security staff said four officers had been hit by the outbreak and blamed the "dilapidated" state of the palace's facilities.

"The plaster walls are falling apart, the chairs that the Guards have recovered from the garbage bins of the Elysée no longer have seats," deplored the Guards in the letter.

"Every day, we have to accomplish our mission with ridiculous means and outdated equipment," they said.

But the presidency issued a press statement maintaining that the rooms set aside for the guards, who ensure 24-hour security at the palace, were in "satisfactory" condition.

Renovation work on the rooms began in late September, it added.


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