Head Lice (Louse)

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HEAD LOUSE

Insect

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What is Lice?The head louse is an obligate ectoparasite of humans that causes head lice infestation. Head lice are wingless insects spending their entire life on the human scalp and feeding exclusively on human blood.

Scientific name: Pediculus humanus capitisLength: 0.25 0.3 cm (Adult)

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Structure and Food Head lice have no wings, so they cannot fly. They have six legs with claws at the endsthat is how they attach themselves to hair.

Lice feed on bloodthey use their mouth parts to bite into the skin and secrete a substance that acts to block clotting. They feed about four to five times every day.3

Head Lices Life Cycle

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Where Do They Come From?Head lice infestations can happen to anyone, but they are a particular concern for school-age children. It is important to emphasize that poor hygiene, skipped baths or showers, or any other hygiene issue is not the cause of head lice. Children who live in crowded conditions may have more of a problem with head lice, but that is only because they are living close to one another and may sleep in the same bed. The only way head lice spread from one person to another is by direct head-to-head contact (as when kids hug or put their heads together to look at the same book) or by the sharing of hats, caps, hair ties, scarves, or any personal item such as combs or brushes.5

Where They live?Head lice can be found anywhere on the scalp, but are commonly found on hairs at the back of the neck and around the ears.

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What Are the Symptoms of Head Lice?Symptoms of head lice include:

extreme scalp itchinessfeeling like something is crawling on your scalpsores and scabs on your scalp from scratching

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Who Is at Risk for Head Lice?Preschool and elementary school students have the highest risk of getting head lice. They tend to play closely together and share items that touch their heads. There is also an increased risk of head lice for family members of school-aged children. People who work in a day care center, preschool, or elementary school share this risk.8

Any Question ?9