Study: 42 of 48 states test positive for ‘super lice’

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Just as you’re getting your children ready to go back to school, a new study finds more cases of “super lice” are spreading across the country.

In a study published in the Oxford Journal of Medical Entomology, scientists tested 48 states and 42 of them, including Pennsylvania, proved to have the lice that are resistant to over-the-counter treatments.

“What I’ve noticed more this year than in times past is that the lice have built up a really strong resistance to things over-the-counter and even some of the prescription stuff that people are trying to use,” said Latoya Willis, owner of Lice Lifters in Harrisburg. “It doesn’t stand to work against the lice or it’s eggs.”

Willis says she treats patients of all ages, and no one is safe when it comes to super lice.

“People are coming back from summer camps and they’re bringing it back home bring with them, and they’re coming back from different countries,” she said. “I’m going to see more school-age kids than anything.”

To prevent lice from spreading or coming back after treatment, Willis tells patients that laundry needs to go in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat. That includes linens, stuffed animals, and anything that has been worn in the past three days.

She also recommends they vacuum any areas that have had direct head contact, including cloth sofas and chairs, pillows, and carpeting. Brushes, combs, and hair accessories should be treated with boiling water.

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