We are not only dealing with the swine flu this season, we are now inundated with the mutated “super lice”. This may make our parents squirm but Georgia is one of twenty five states that are now reporting large numbers of children infested with this lice that is resistant to over the counter treatments.
Permethrin creams used to work predictably but are now only effective twenty five percent of the time. There are new treatments like (AirAlle) that works but is expensive, costing almost $200 per treatment. The idea is to use heat and dehydration in a vacuum system to kill both the lice and their eggs in one hour, typically done at a lice clinic or office.
If you don’t mind the investment of time, nit picking, vacuuming and combing still works. There are still medications we can prescribe to treat this super bug such as Spinosad or Sklice but the best treatment as usual is prevention.
Tips on Lice prevention:
1. Avoid the actual contact with the head of someone who may be infected;
2. Don’t share hats, scarf’s, helmets or anything that touch the head of others; don’t use hairbrushes that was used by others;
3. Don’t share bed things (especially pillows) with anyone who is infested;
4. Wash bedclothes and linens at least once per week in hot water.
5. Place stuffed animals in the dryer on the hot cycle for a half an hour
6. To take an extra precaution, drop a few flea bombs to fumigate your house while you are away (Lice can only live for 24 hours without contact with a human or animal).
Written by Charlaya Campbell, M.D., Pediatrician ZÖe Pediatrics