Pediculosis And Phthiriasis (Lice And Crabs)

Pediculosis is an infestation of various parts of the body by different species of lice.

Pediculiasis capitis – eyebrow, eyelashes, hair

Pediculis corporis – body

Phithimus pubis - groin

Where does it occur?

It occurs worldwide.

How is it transmitted?

It is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person, indirect contact with shared clothing or head gear or sexual contact for pubic lice (crabs).

Is it contagious from person to person?

YEAH ! !

What is the risk for travelers?

Higher risk exists for travelers staying in large group settings such as dormitories and hostels.

How soon after exposure will one develop symptoms?

Symptoms usually develop 1-2 weeks after exposure.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms are primarily of itching and scratching of affected areas. If the skin develops bacterial infections from scratching, swollen lymph glands maybe seen in the affected region.

Are there any lab tests to diagnose the illness?

One can see lice on the skin or scalp upon close inspection.

Is there any treatment?

Rinse whole body and hair with Permethrin and malathion containing shampoos, one may need re-treatment in a week. All clothing, bedding, towels etc need to be laundered in hot water.

What preventive measures can be taken?

Avoid lodgings that are unsanitary or crowded with unkempt individuals.

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