Super-strain of head lice in the Midwest - KOAM TV 7

Super-strain of head lice in the Midwest


As if going back to school isn't hard enough, a new bully is on the block - and you can't just ignore it.

A new "super-strain" of head lice has found its way to 25 states, including Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. A study presented at the American Chemical Society showed that 100% of tested louse in those three states were of the new super-strain.

The problem with the new strain is that it is highly resistant to over-the-counter medication. The only certain way to rid of the lice, is prescription medication costing in the $100-$200 range.

Hairdressers often come across lice in the fall and spring.

"We'll find it and we have to send you home because it's a health code violation if we were to do anything with it, because technically, we can't get rid of it," hair stylist Keelie Wisdom said.

Cheryl Rajotte is the nurse practitioner in the Pittsburg school district. Rajotte said home remedies, such as mayonnaise and olive oil, are not doing the trick. The best way to prevent the bugs are to not share combs, hats and coats. Even, among siblings.

"You can see red marks, usually at the nape of the neck and that is usually where the lice are biting," Rajotte said.

The former idea that lice are attracted to dirty hair is inaccurate. Wisdom said lice can be attracted to very clean hair as they can stick to the strands with ease.

Louse eggs are the size of the 'O' in "ONE CENT" on the back of a penny and often go unseen by quick head checks. Full-grown lice are the size of the word "ONE" on the back of a penny and much more prominent.

If you believe your child has contracted the super-strain of head lice, officials say to get them into your doctor immediately.

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