'Super Lice' resistant to common treatment methods - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Super Lice' resistant to common treatment methods

(Source: Allison Twaits, KFVS) (Source: Allison Twaits, KFVS)
(KFVS) -

The Centers for Disease Control reports as many as 12 million American students between the ages of 3 and 11 get lice each year.

Now super lice are invading 25 states including all four of our Heartland states.

"Super Lice" is what the American Chemical society is calling this new form of lice that tested positive for a mutation resistant to common over-the-counter treatments.

However, a school nurse says there are still preventative measures families can take.

Tresa Jordan is the school nurse for the Scott City Public School District.

She says treatment, regardless of the strain, starts at home.

"If they are complaining, it could be head lice it could not but at least you know what to look for,” she said.

The parasite is about the size of a sesame seed has six legs, and is tan to grayish-white in color.

Adult head lice feed on blood and can live for about 30 days on a person's head.

The problem is head lice is so easily shared.

Once it's brought home it can take days even weeks to completely kill.

"It is not just schools, it is colleges, daycares, anywhere there is kids,” she says.

She says to fight the instinct to over treat or give preventive treatments, because that's actually contributing to the resistance problem.
She says lice often prefer shampooed hair.

"These chemicals have been around for quite a while and they are becoming ineffective and so a lot of home remedies and herbal therapies are starting to come on to the market,” said Jordan.

Some pharmacists I spoke do recommend trying all -natural products if you don't want to have to get a doctor prescription.

There are treatments available at all-natural food stores that could help prevent and kill “super lice.”

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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