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Prevalence of pediculosis capitis among Korean children


Pediculus humanus capitis is an ectoparasite, which causes scalp pruritus particularly among children. A total of 15,373 children including 8,018 boys and 7,355 girls from 26 primary schools and 15 kindergartens attached to the primary schools and a total of 33 children from an orphanage were examined for head lice infestation (HLI). The overall prevalence of HLI in this study was 4.1% including 3.7% of the urban areas and 4.7% of the rural areas. Head lice were found more frequently in girls than in boys with prevalence of 6.5% and 1.9%, respectively. The infestation rate by school grade was 3.2%, 4.7%, 4.2%, 5.0%, 4.9%, 3.8%, and 2.1% for kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, respectively. The infestation rate of the children in an orphanage was 66.7%. The prevalence of HLI has decreased especially in the rural areas. However, HLI is a still health problem of kindergarteners and primary schoolchildren in Korea.

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This work was supported by the second phase of the BK (Brain Korea) 21 Project in 2008 and the grand (2007-S1-M-001) from the National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Correspondence to Seobo Sim.

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Oh, JM., Lee, I.Y., Lee, WJ. et al. Prevalence of pediculosis capitis among Korean children. Parasitol Res 107, 1415–1419 (2010).

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  • Primary School
  • Sixth Grade
  • School Nurse
  • Head Louse
  • Infestation Rate