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Prevalence of head lice infestation among schoolchildren in urban and rural areas ina region of western Iran-school year 2015–2016

Authors: Saman Nazari, Sasan Nazari, Reza Goudarztalejerdi andMansour Nazari

Int J Med Res Health Sci.372-377 | pdf PDF Full Text

The head louse with the scientific name of pediculus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae) is one of a global public health
concern. A descriptive-analytic cross-sectional research performed on school students in urban and rural areas of
Asadabad region in Iran from 2015 October to 2016 June. A total of 16438 subjects including 7712 (46.9%) school
girls and 8726 (53.1%) school boys were selected for current study. The prevalence rate of Pediculus capitis among
these subjects was separately studied in three various seasons and the obtained results showed that the total
prevalence rate of 1.7% (828 students), which was more common among girls (n=718, 3.1%) than boys (n=110,
0.4%). Temporal distribution of the disease showed 400 (2.4%) of cases recorded in autumn, followed by winter 253
(1.5%) and spring 175 (1.1%), respectively. Totally the maximum pediculosis incidence was observed from
preschool (n=55, 2.2%) followed by elementary school (n=564, 1.9%), middle school (n=170, 1.6%) and high
school (n=42, 0.7%), respectively. The maximum head lice infestation rate was related to students of the urban area
in autumn (n=269, 2.7%) and the lowest rate was also in urban area in spring (n=67, 0.7%). Totally the infection
rate of pediculosis was 516 (1.7%) in urban area and 312 (1.6%) in rural area. There was not a significant
difference between residence in urban/rural areas and infection (P=0.430). The results of current study indicated
the reason of perpetuating this condition in school students has been the lack of knowledge about the importance of
head lice infestation as well as the opposition for applying drugs of pediculosis capitis.

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