Super-Strains Of Lice Spread To 25 States: Are They In Yours?

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Nobody want to get lice, and no parent wants to hear those words muttered by the school nurse ‘Your child has lice’. There is a new super-strain of those nasty little insects among us and they are traveling far and wide across the country.

Lice — and other insects — are increasingly becoming resistant to pyrethroids, the active ingredients in most over the counter concoctions used to fight these disgusting parasites. According to Kyong Yoon, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University—Edwardsvillle. Yoon was part of the research team that initially discovered the new ultra-resistant strains.

In a new study, Yoon and his colleagues decided to find out how widespread these resistant strains were.

“We collected 109 lice populations and 104 had high levels of gene mutations,” Yoon reported at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Researchers are finding that head lice that are becoming resistant to OTC treatments. Red states: 100 percent of the tested lice were resistant. Orange states: 50 to 90 percent of lice were resistant. Yellow states: 1 percent to 49 percent were resistant. Blue states: Data hasn’t been analyzed yet. White states haven’t been tested. (Photo: Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville)



Nit picking doesn’t work?

And bad news for parents who rely solely on “nit pickers,” or commercially available fine-toothed combs — there’s no evidence suggesting combs are successful, said Dr. Bernard Cohen, a professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “There have been a couple of nice studies showing that nit picking doesn’t really work,” he said.

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