Scabies are contagious even when an infected person does not show outward signs of infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it may take up to six weeks for previously uninfected people to present symptoms of scabies, they can still spread scabies before experiencing symptoms.
People previously infected with scabies usually exhibit symptoms within one to four days following exposure, notes the CDC. Scabies infections usually spread by direct or prolonged skin-to-skin contact with infected persons. Household members and sexual partners of infected individuals are particularly prone to getting scabies. Sharing bedding, towels and clothing with an infected person is also a route of transmission.