Monday, February 29, 2016
‘Super lice’ outbreak hits 25 states
A strain of so-called ‘super lice’ has hit a reported 25 states, causing concern and frustration among parents because the bugs can’t be killed with most over-the-counter treatments. The treatments, known as pyrethroids, had a 100 percent success rate in 2000 against lice but now only work in 25 percent of cases, KSDK.com reported.
A new FDA-approved treatment called AirAlle, which was developed by Lice Clinics of America, has been found to be effective against the super lice, with treatments costing about $170.
“We use heated air, and we dehydrate the lice and the eggs in a single treatment,” Claire Roberts, CEO of Lice Clinics America, told KSDK.com. “It takes about an hour, and we guarantee it.”
While some insurance companies will cover the cost of treatment, experts say the likely best medicine in this situation is prevention. Parents should teach their children about the repercussions of sharing hats, hairbrushes and contact with another’s hair, KDSK.com reported.
For those parents whose children do come home with lice, experts caution not to panic and to stick to what they know. Old-fashioned nit-picking will help but may take longer than usual. Experts instruct parents to vacuum where hair has fallen, wash bedding in hot water, and throw stuff animals and clothing in a hot dryer for 20 to 30 minutes.
A graphic from the American Chemical Society, an advocacy group for the chemical enterprise, illustrates which states have reported outbreaks, which span from the West to the Northeast and the South.