How do we get lice?
Head lice are contagious and can easily be spread through direct or social contact with an infected person or their belongings.
Head-to-head contact is commonly known to transmit head lice.
Hugging, playing, secrecy, and sharing personal items such as, hair accessories, hats and clothing all play a part in the transmission of Head lice. Although infestations occur most among children 3 to 12years of age, new research shows that largest number of cases found in children age 9 to 16.
What are head lice?
Head lice are tiny six legged parasites that live on the head and feed on human blood only. Each leg has a claw that enables the louse to grasp onto the hair shaft.
Where do head lice come from?
Evidence of head lice have been documented since the beginning of time. Lice and nits (eggs) were discovered on mummies, mentioned in many ancient writings, and portrayed in Biblical teachings. Head lice are found worldwide and affects more than 12 million people each year.
Why don’t over-the-counter products work?
Lice treatment products that use to work in the past are no longer effective. Over the years, lice have developed a strong resistance to pesticides. You see, lice are insects, like all insects, their ability to build up a resistance over a period of time, enables them to recognize the chemicals or pesticides used in products like Rid or Nix and guard against it.
Are there any symptoms of an infestation?
The most common symptom of head lice infestations is intense itching, which occurs about 4 weeks after the initial contact. When the louse bites the scalp to feed it, it excretes saliva that enters into the human blood stream, which causes an allergic reaction known as itching. However, there are some individuals who are asymptomatic carriers, do not itch at all, and account for as many as 50% of head lice cases. Other symptoms, consist of scalp redness, rashes, tiny bumps on the scalp or even a feeling of something moving in the hair.
Where head lice are mostly found in the hair?
Head lice are mostly found on the scalp, behind the ears and closest to the nape of the neck. Nits are attached to the hair shaft closest to the scalp.
What can I do to get rid of head lice?
Increasing numbers of consumers are finding that the most popular treatments for head lice – including chemical shampoos and home remedies – are largely ineffective. Head lice are rapidly evolving chemical resistance to many of the traditional pesticide-based control methods [which have never been able to kill eggs (nits) effectively and usually require repeated treatments]. Louse combs can be effective for removing lice and eggs, but the comb-out process can be very tedious, and many busy parents do not have the time or patience for effective combing. In desperation, some parents resort to home remedies such as bug spray, mayonnaise or kerosene, but there is little hard evidence that these remedies are effective, and some home remedies can actually be harmful. As a result, parents and school authorities are searching for a safe, fast and effective treatment that will solve the problem and help keep children in or quickly return them to school.
WHO GETS LICE?
Children from 3 to 11 years old are particularly susceptible, no one is immune and anyone can get head lice
All socioeconomic classes are affected
Research concludes that girls are more likely to became commonly infested, but neither hair length or personal hygiene is a predictive factor. Lice, in fact, prefer clean hair, since it’s easier to adhere to than oily/soil hair.
No one knows why some people are more prone than others to having head lice, but blood type and Rh factor seem to be elements.
Once someone has had a head lice infestation, the possibility of getting infested again, especially in the short term, has proven to be greater.
Eggs: Eggs are laid by adult female lice and usually take about 8 to 9 days to hatch into nymphs.
Nymphs: Nymphs are immature lice that mature into adults about 9 to 12 days after hatching from the egg.
Adults: Adult lice can live about 30 days on a person’s head. If they come off the host, they die within 24 to 48 hours. Female adult lice lay about 4 eggs per day and can lay about 88 eggs during their lifetime.
Do pets get head lice?
No head lice cannot live on pets, head lice can only live on human heads.
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