Head lice prevalence and associated factors in two boarding schools in Sivas.

Research paper by Serpil S Değerli, Erdoğan E Malatyalı, Kosta Y KY Mumcuoğlu

Indexed on: 27 Apr '13Published on: 27 Apr '13Published in: Turkiye parazitolojii dergisi / Turkiye Parazitoloji Dernegi = Acta parasitologica Turcica / Turkish Society for Parasitology


The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of head louse infestations and the factors affecting the rate of infestation in primary school children in Sivas.A total of 342 children (249 girls and 93 boys) were examined with a louse comb for the presence of head lice. A questionnaire with 23 questions was distributed among the pupils and their parents.The overall infestation rate for head lice was 10.2% (n=35). The infestation rate was higher in girls (13.7%) than in boys (1.1%) (p < 0.05). Children who had been infested in the past (27.1%) were more likely to be infested than those who had not been infested previously (7.2%) (p < 0.05). The same was true for children whose family members were previously infested and those who were not (30% and 8.5%, respectively) (p < 0.05). Head lice infestation was highest (20%) in children aged 6-11 and lowest (5.3%) in children aged 13-15 (p < 0.05). The frequency of bathing and washing their hair, sharing combs, beds and towels, the hair color, hair thickness and quantity of dandruff, the number of family members and number of rooms per family member, were not significantly different between infested and non-infested children, A significant difference was found in the infestation of long haired (15.1%) compared with short haired pupils (4.5%) (p < 0.05).Girls were more often infested than boys and children who were previously infested with lice, or came from families where there had been previous infestation, had a greater chance of being re-infested.