Experts: ‘Super lice’ resistant to traditional treatments

What to do to prevent and treat the so-called super lice

A child's hair is checked for lice.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Health experts are warning of a new strain of lice that is resistant to common treatments — some are calling it super lice.

The strain has been found in Michigan.

“We are starting to notice that our lice are becoming more resistant to our traditional treatments,” said Dr. Lisa Lowery, the section chief for adolescent medicine at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The start of the school year is only a few weeks away. More contact with other children makes it more likely that your child could contract lice — and keep them longer if they’re super lice. So what do you do?

It starts with preventative care and teaching your kids what not to share at school, like hairbands and hats.

“Don’t share things,” Missy Ward-Green said she instructs her two children. “Especially this headband, ’cause she does wear a lot of headbands and (if) she shares that, lice can hide.”

If your child does come home with lice, Dr. Lowery advised contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the best treatment options for a super lice strain, which are typically sold over the counter.

“I like to tell parents: treat, make sure you get out all the nits and then maybe retreat in a week,” Lowery said.

Treatment is usually a wash, after which you should comb the hair and continue to check for nits. Lice can live on a scalp for about 30 days.

Check with your local school district for information on its policies regarding lice, when they check for it and if they have any recommendations for preventative care. Policies on when your child can return may vary. Sometimes, the school nurse makes the decision.

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Online:

CDC on lice

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