Epidemiology of pediculosis capitis in female primary school pupils Qom. 2003


Babak Farzin Nia 1 , Ahmad Ali Hanafi Bojd 2 , * , Seyed Reza Reis Karami 3 , Talat Jafary 4

1 Departments of Entomology, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.

2 Department of Entomology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Pediatrics, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.

4 Public Health Center of Qom Province, Qom, Iran.

How to Cite: Farzin Nia B, Hanafi Bojd A A, Reis Karami S R, Jafary T. Epidemiology of pediculosis capitis in female primary school pupils Qom. 2003, Hormozgan Med J. 2004 ; 8(2):e90620.


Hormozgan Medical Journal: 8 (2); e90620
Published Online: June 09, 2004
Article Type: Research Article
Received: December 11, 2003
Accepted: June 09, 2004


Introduction: Schools, especially primary schools are places which have the
main role for starting an epidemic of pediculosis. In this survey, we studied the
prevalence of head lice (pediculosis capitis) contamination among primary school
girls of Qom city during the winter of 2003.
Methods: In this descriptive study, a total of 1650 cases from 49458 elementary
school girls were selected randomly and examined by direct observation of scalp
hair, especially behind the neck and ears to find nit, nymph or adult louse. Then
related questionnaires were filled out by asking students and their teachers. The
results were presented by means of descriptive methods and the main factors
were examined by means of Chi-square test.
Results: The results showed that 74 students were infected and 131 cases had a
history of contamination with head lice or nit. The infection rate was 4.5% with a
peak of 7.4% in 4th grade.
According to the national pediculosis association of USA, which defines an
epidemic when 5% or more of students are infected, the status of primary school
girls infection in the Qom city is near the epidemic condition.
Analysis of the results using X2 test showed that pediculosis has a significant
relation to: education and job of mother, family size, grades of student, previous
records of infection to lice, length of hair, common use of personal equipment,
and kind of residence place (p<0.05). It has a non-significant relation to
education and job of father, presence or absence of bathroom in houses, and
doing the personal health care by students.
Conclusion: Relatively high prevalence of head lice in Qom primary schools
highlights the need for more cooperation between the city education authorities
and health centers.



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