Diagnosis of head lice infestations

Heukelbach, Jörg, and Feldmeier, Hermann (2010) Diagnosis of head lice infestations. In: Heukelbach, Jörg, (ed.) Management and Control of Head Lice Infestations. Uni-Med Verlag AG, Bremen, Germany, pp. 48-50.

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[Extract] A correct diagnosis is the prerequisite for appropriate treatment. People with active pediculosis have live lice on the scalp or live embryos in eggs attached to hair shafts. People with inactive pediculosis have no live lice, but dead eggs or egg shells(nits) are found on hair shafts. An active head lice infestation bears risk of transmission and requires treatment. In contrast. inactive pediculosis is only evidence of past infection. There is no transmission risk, but it often is a cosmetic, social, mental and economic problem. In this situation, removal of egg shells becomes the major goal. However, in clinical praxis, it is difficult to conclude whether a patient has;an active infestation or shows only residues from pediculosis experienced in the past. This is due to the fact that infestation intensity is low in many cases (<10 trophic stages). In addition, laymen and doctors usually are unable to differentiate viable ova, dead ova or nits. Finally, diagnostic techniques need certain skills and are time-consuming.

Item ID: 16717
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-3-8374-1203-1
Keywords: head lice, infestations, management, control
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Chapter 5: Diagnosis and Rapid Assessment

Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 22:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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