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Margaret Jahn, MS, MPH Freehold Health Dept.

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Presentation on theme: "Margaret Jahn, MS, MPH Freehold Health Dept."— Presentation transcript:

1 Margaret Jahn, MS, MPH Freehold Health Dept.
PEDICULOSIS HEAD LICE Margaret Jahn, MS, MPH Freehold Health Dept.

2 GOALS Learn about head lice Biology Treatment Diagnosis
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE & HOW Biology Treatment Diagnosis Prevention & control

3 HEAD LICE Infestation of Pediculus capitis Parasitic insect
Hair, eyebrows & eyelashes Excessive itching & scratching Universal susceptibility Unrelated to hygiene

4 HEAD LICE VERY common Affects children 3-11yrs
Est million infestations annually Spread from head-to-head contact Feed on blood from scalp DO NOT SPREAD DISEASE! Nuisance!

5 BIOLOGY 101 Life cycle – 3 stages Egg, nymph and adult

6 EGGS Called “Nits” Laid by adult female
Cemented to base of hair (6 mm from scalp) Hard to see Resemble dandruff ~ 1 week to hatch


8 NYMPHS Hatch from eggs Look like adult louse Mature after 3 molts
~ 1 week

9 ADULTS Size of sesame seed 6 legs with claws Females larger
Lay up to 8 nits per day 30 day life span 2-3 meals of blood/day Die 1-2 days off scalp


11 RISK FACTORS Not related to cleanliness!!
Common transmission head-to-head Home School Elsewhere (camp, sports, playground etc.)

12 RISK FACTORS Uncommon transmission Sharing clothing, hair ribbons
Using infested combs, brushes, towels Lying on a bed, couch etc. recently in contact with infested person

13 DIAGNOSIS Misdiagnosis – VERY common Look for live insects
Nits not always reliable Easily confused with dandruff, hair spray etc. Nits >1/4 inch from scalp – old

Check household members & contacts Treat all at same time Supplemental measures

15 TREATMENT Over-the-counter medication FDA approved
Pyrethrins or permethrins READ LABEL Do not re-wash hair for 1-2 days Check 8-12 hrs after tx Slower moving, comb dead No dead – call healthcare provider

16 SUPPLEMENTAL Bedding, towels & clothing
With in 2 day period Launder in hot water & dry Place in plastic bag for 2 weeks Vacuum furniture and floors of infested hair

17 CDC RECOMENDATIONS Students remain in school if Dx during day
Children return to school after treatment Nits still present? O.K. as long as no crawling/ live insects Burdensome absenteeism Nits not easily transferred Misdiagnosis common if not by health provider

18 Freehold Township School Policy

Freehold Health Department


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