The Prevalence of Children Head Lice Infestation in a Rural Town in Nantou County, 2014

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20170214.33(3).001

Chen-Pei Lin1, Hsiu-Chuan Liu2, Dolin Lin1, Pei-Fang Lai,Ching-Fen Ko1,3, Min-cheng Lin1, Sung-Hsi Wei4*

2017 Vol.33 NO.3

Correspondence Author: Sung-Hsi Wei4*

  • 1Central Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Health Bureau, Nantou County Government, Nantou, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Public Health, Tzu Chi University, Hualien,Taiwan
  • 4Department of Public Health, China Medical University,Taichung, Taiwan


Head lice infestation remains a significant public health issue in the rural areas in Taiwan. Epidemiology of children head lice infestation in the rural area in central Taiwan has not been updated in the past decade. We reported the results of an epidemiological investigation to elucidate the prevalence, prevention and control of children head lice infestation in a rural town in Nantou.

Students in the elementary schools and kindergartens in the rural town were enrolled. School nurses inspected the enrolled students to examine the head lice infestation in February and March, 2014. The Health Bureau of Nantou County Government provided topical ointments to the infested children and their family to treat the head lice infestation.

Of the 894 elementary school students, 239 (26.7%) were head lice infested. Fifty three (12.2%) of 434 male students and 186 (40.4%) of 460 female students were positive for head lice infestation, respectively. Of the 438 kindergarten students, 90 (20.5%) were head lice infested. Twenty eight (11.2%) of 249 male students and 62 (32.8%) of 189 female students were positive for head lice infestation, respectively. The infestation rates among female students were significantly higher than those among male students (p < 0.001). The infestation rate among kindergarten students was significantly lower than that among primary school students (p = 0.01).

Our report shows head lice infestation remained prevalent among school children in the rural town. Providing necessary resources is essential to mitigate the health impact of head lice infestation among the children.