super lice in 25 states

‘Super Lice’ Found In 25 States

“Super lice” have now been found in 25 states. The little critters have proven to be resistant to the chemicals in standard over-the-counter treatments for the common childhood problem. Before the super lice emerged on the scene, the store bought lice treatments were known to have a 100 percent success rate.

To kill the super lice, the FDA recently approved a new treatment, but it costs almost $200. Some insurance companies will cover the high price of the chemical treatment designed to kill lice and their eggs, KSDK News reports.

In 2000, the Pyrethroids chemicals worked in all lice cases, but by 2013, the same product only killed lice in about 25 percent of infestation cases, KREM 2 News reports. Pyrethroids are a synthetic version of a chemical found in chrysanthemums. The chemicals reportedly attach onto receptors in the nervous systems of the lice to paralyze and ultimately kill the insects.

Going the old-fashioned route and painstakingly combing out lice nits in the hair is supposed to still be a viable way to get rid of the super lice. All the tedious and time-consuming standard home cleaning post lice infestation rules still apply as well, MSN reports. The entire home should be thoroughly vacuumed, and all stuffed toys and bed linens should be washed in hot water and then placed in the dryer on hot for 30 minutes. Dolls with hair and other similar toys or decoration must be cleaned entirely, as well.

“We collected 109 lice populations and 104 had high levels of gene mutations,” Kyong Yoon, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, told Today.

Super Lice Are Now In 25 States

“Don’t share hats, don’t share hairbrushes,” Lice Clinics of America CEO Claire Roberts, said “Try to avoid the actual contact with hair or another head. That’s how the lice are transferred.”

One Washington woman said that she has been battling super lice since the beginning of last school year, when she became infested with the bugs from a child she knew.

“You think it’s gone, and then you see eggs a few weeks later. And it’s like, damn it, it’s back again,” the woman told local reporters in Spokane.

Various health and lice experts recommend that when a combination of standard nit picking and over-the-counter lice treatments are used in an attempt to kill super lice, the process will most likely need to be repeated about a week after the initial treatment and hair combing.

If a repeated treatment does not work, pediatric dermatologist Dr. Robin Gehris said a prescription for a stronger super lice treatment might be needed. Gehris stressed the important of strictly following the directions on the over-the-counter lice treatments.

“You want to leave it on overnight with a shower cap,” Dr. Gehris said. “A common reason for failure is that the children don’t like the smell and want to wash it off soon.”

Although Dr. Gehris was quick to note that there is no proof that old lice home remedies can work to kill life, she said the recipes once shared by many school nurses are still often tried today.

“Olive oil, mayonnaise, Vaseline, these are all treatments I wouldn’t recommend,” she added. “But I hear school nurses recommending them all the time. If you want to use mayonnaise as an adjunct, I’m OK with that. Theoretically, it could work if you put it on thickly enough that the lice aren’t able to breathe. But it’s hard to imagine that you could get it on thickly enough to really do the trick.”

Have you had any experiences with super lice?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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