Lice 2
Friday, July 31, 2009

Combing through a childís wet hair seems to be a more accurate way of finding active head lice compared with visual checks, a German study has concluded. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this study in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Combing through a childís wet hair rather than a simpler visual inspection may be the best way to detect an active head lice infestation, according to a German study.

Head lice infestation is one of the most common childhood conditions, affecting one to three percent of 6- to 12-year olds. The tiny head louse is a parasite that attaches to the scalp and is spread easily among children in close contact, such as classrooms.

In the study, researchers compared the effectiveness of the two head lice detection methods in 300 children attending German schools with head lice.

The results of the study show wet combing was much better at detecting active head lice infestations, correctly identifying them in 90 percent of children, compared with a 28 percent accuracy rate for visual inspections.

The advantage of the visual inspection method is that it is easy and fast. The wet-comb method, on the other hand, is more time consuming and requires special equipment and instruction.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.