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  • E-245-W "Human Lice: Biology and Public Health Risk" HTML | PDF (491 KB)
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Pubic Louse

Geographical distribution of pubic lice

  • World-wide, including all developed nations.

Situations favoring pubic lice infestations

  • Sexual activity with an infested partner.

Location of pubic lice infestations

  • Typically on coarse hairs in the genital region of adolescents and adults.
  • Occasionally in other locations such as eyelashes, eyebrows, and mustaches.
  • NOTE: Pubic louse eggs are laid at the base of coarse body hairs.

Spread of pubic lice

  • Primarily during sexual intercourse and other intimate activities.
  • Potentially, but rarely, via infested bedding and toilet seats.

Symptoms of pubic louse infestation

  • Itching and irritability.
  • Excessive scratching, resulting in scab-covered sores and secondary bacterial and fungal infections.

Public health risk of pubic lice

  • Severe nuisances and social embarrassment.
  • Possibility of secondary infections associated with sores.
  • NOTE: There is no evidence that pubic lice are vectors of disease agents.

Control of pubic lice

  • Avoid sexual relations with infested partners.
  • For specific chemical control, refer to CDC recommendations and see a physician.

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