An Investigation of a Cluster Infection of Head Lice at an Elementary School in Taipei City

Yan- Lin Chang

2009 Vol.25 NO.1

Correspondence Author: Chuang Peing


On hearing the term “head lice”, one can not help feeling itchy on the scalp. According to stereotypes, it should be found in an environment of poor public health. In recent months, cluster infections of head lice happened sequentially among school children in several elementary schools of Taipei City. These events deserved our concern and attention. A cluster infection event of head lice happened in an elementary school of Taipei City in May 2006. Then an epidemiologic investigation was done immediately. The purpose of the investigation was evaluation of the infection scale, route of the infection, source of the infection and effectiveness of the preventive measures. Three hundred and twenty-five school children and six school faculties were investigated. There were 14 cases confirmed by laboratory examinations, and they were all school children. The overall attack rate was 4.22% (14/331). The preventive measures and medication were taken since May 25. No more newly found cases of head lice were noted since June 16. Follow-up of the infection was then concluded on June 30.