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NJBMS - Volume 10 Issue 1, July - September 2019

Pages: 5-11
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An Epidemiological Study of Head Louse Infestation Among Primary School Children in a Rural area of Salem, Tamil Nadu

Author: S. Sangeetha, P.Angyarkanni

Category: Community Medicine


Background : Infestation with head lice called as Pediculus humanus capitis is very common among children, in institutional set ups especially schools and hostels. It is highly contagious and almost 50% of the human population would have suffered from head louse infestation at some time of their life. Hence this study was conducted to know the epidemiological factors and associated risk factors related to Pediculosis in school children.

Aims And Objectives :

1. To determine the epidemiological factors and associated risk factors related to head louse infestation in school children.

2. To study the prevalence of head louse infestation among primary rural school children.

Materials And Methods :

The study was conducted at Sri Vidya Mandir School, Attayampatty, Salem District, Tamil Nadu. It is a cross- sectional study, where 252 Children of class I to V Standard, were involved. The study involved a pre-tested questionnaire and manual examination for the adult head louse and nits.

Results :

Of the total 252 children examined [85 boys and 167girls], the prevalence of head louse infestation was found to be 34.12% (86 students). Girls were two times more affected than boys. Frequent hair washing and using shampoos was associated with a lower infestation rate, while co-sleeping, sharing of combs and towels and large family size was associated with a higher infestation rate.

Conclusion :

The prevalence of head louse infestation is high among the study group of primary school children. Hence in the periodic school health checkups , emphasis should be given for identification and treatment of the infestation of the affected child, other contacts and family members.

Keywords: Head louse infestation, primary rural school children, prevalence

DOI: 10.31975/NJBMS.2019.10011