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Risk Factors and Statistics: A Deep Dive into Pediculosis Capitis in Primary Schools.

Risk Factors and Statistics: A Deep Dive into Pediculosis Capitis in Primary Schools

Pediculosis capitis, commonly known as head lice, is a parasitic infestation of the scalp hair caused by the human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis). It is a common problem among primary school children worldwide, and its prevalence varies across different regions. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the risk factors and statistics associated with pediculosis capitis in primary schools, based on the latest research findings.



Prevalence of Pediculosis Capitis in Primary Schools


Prevalence of Pediculosis Capitis in Primary Schools

According to a study conducted in the south-west of Iran, out of 28,410 primary school students, 2995 students (10.5%) were infested with P. capitis in one of its life cycle stages (egg/nit, nymph, or adult) or presence 1. Another study conducted in Al-Karak Governorate, Southern Jordan, found that almost one-fifth of the students were infested with head lice

2. In Asadabad, Iran, the prevalence of pediculosis capitis among primary and middle school children was reported to be 4.6% 3. In northwest Ethiopia, the prevalence of pediculosis capitis among school-aged children in Woreta town was found to be 56.5% 4. In the United States, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year among children aged 3 to 11 years 5.


Risk Factors for Pediculosis Capitis

Several risk factors have been identified for pediculosis capitis infestation. In Iran, a study found that the risk of infestation was higher in girls than boys 1. In Ethiopia, females were 3.29 times more infested by pediculosis capitis than males 4. In Jordan, female gender, long hair, and low socioeconomic status were identified as significant risk factors for head lice infestation 2. In another study conducted in Iran, the risk factors for pediculosis capitis infestation were found to be sex, long hair, shared hair accessories, and a history of infestation 6. The study also found that students with illiterate mothers were more likely to be infested with head lice.


Prevention and Control of Pediculosis Capitis

Prevention and control of pediculosis capitis infestation require a comprehensive approach involving the school, parents, and healthcare providers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following measures to prevent and control head lice infestation 5:

  • Avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere.

  • Do not share combs, brushes, towels, pillows, hats, or other personal items.

  • Use a lice comb to check for and remove lice and nits from the hair of infested persons.

  • Wash infested person's bedding, clothing, and other personal items in hot water and dry them on the hot cycle of the dryer for at least 20 minutes.

  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

  • Notify the school and other close contacts of the infested person to prevent further spread.

In addition to these measures, the CDC recommends that schools develop a policy for managing head lice infestation, including guidelines for exclusion and readmission of infested students.


Conclusion

Pediculosis capitis is a common problem among primary school children worldwide, and its prevalence varies across different regions. Several risk factors have been identified for head lice infestation, including female gender, long hair, shared hair accessories, and a history of infestation. Prevention and control of head lice infestation require a comprehensive approach involving the school, parents, and healthcare providers. By following the recommended measures, we can prevent and control the spread of head lice infestation in primary schools.

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