Emily McGuire

Treatment Resistant Lice Raises Concerns for Back to School

by Emily McGuire on August 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

Parents and teachers have a new concern with the first day of school being right around the corner- a new super-resistant strain of lice has spread to over half of the country.

Large numbers of lice populations have evolved in a manner allowing them to be resistant to the active ingredient in over-the-counter treatments. One hundred and nine samples from 30 different states carried these gene mutations and Ohio was on that list. As for known cases here in Muskingum County, Medical Director at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department Dr. Vicki Whitacre said the health department hasn’t seen any yet.

“Not that we’re aware of. When we had a person who worked here and his job was basically lice control in the schools and anywhere else that needed him, he said that there probably was some of the resistant head lice in this area but in general most of the time, he felt that the problem was because the treatment was not done properly.”

Rather than panicking, parents and teachers need to be educated and inform their kids of prevention tips.

“If you have any concerns your child might have head lice you need to inspect their head to see if you can see the actual lice moving around. There’s no way really to prevent it except to tell your children not to share their hats with other children although that’s a rare way to transfer it. Don’t share combs and hair brushes. Avoid close contact because it’s really putting head to head that gets it transferred.”

Dr. Whitacre said to try over the counter treatments and make sure to use them properly before consulting a doctor.