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Kansas City Star: School's in and "super lice" are back

It’s back-to-school time, which means time to be on the lookout for head lice — and not just any lice. If your child’s head keeps itching even after you’ve tried over-the-counter medications, he might be infested with “super lice.”

Rupal Gupta, a pediatrician with Children’s Mercy, said she’s seen some cases this year.

“We’ve had to use some more stronger prescription medications for certain cases of lice, especially the lice cases that keep coming back,” Gupta said. “We do know that certain populations of lice in the area do seem to be getting resistant to permethrin.”

written by Andy Marso, photo by Jill Toyoshiba 

But Gupta said there’s no reason to fear. Lice, though annoying, are essentially harmless to health. They spread mostly through head-to-head contact, so they’re relatively easy to contain as compared to airborne illnesses like measles.

There are also effective treatments available, even for lice that no longer respond to permethrin, a common insecticide.

Gupta recommends trying over-the-counter treatments first, then seeking medical attention if the lice resist.


Read the full story via The Kansas City Star.