Epidemiological aspects of head lice in children attending day care centres, urban and rural schools in Uberlândia, central Brazil

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2002
Authors:R. Borges, Mendes J.
Journal:Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Pagination:189 - 192
Date Published:2002
ISBN Number:0074-0276
Keywords:adolescent, animals, Brazil, child, Child, Preschool, humans, Infant, Lice Infestations/epidemiology, Pediculus, prevalence, Rural Population, scalp dermatoses, Sex Distribution, Socioeconomic Factors, urban

From November 1996 to March 2000, a total of 884 children between 0 and 15 years, from 11 institutions including day care centres, public urban and public rural schools in Uberlandia, State of Minas Gerais, central Brazil, were examined for head louse infestation. Children's sex, race, age and some hairs characteristics were shown to be associated to parasite infestation. A prevalence rate of 35% was found and the highest rates were observed in black, female children, with long, dark, wavy hairs. Hairs density and thickness did not seem to influence significantly the distribution of this pediculosis in Uberlandia's schoolchildren. Differences observed between the prevalence rates of head lice in children from the urban institutions suggest there is a greater epidemiological heterogeneity in this group when compared to the rural schoolchildren.

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