A strain of super-lice has invaded a huge amount of the United States -- and it may be more extensive than believed.
Experts believe that a strain of mutant “super-lie” has invaded 25 states and has become resistant to most common treatments — and the problem may be more widespread than most people realize.
Head lice is tough enough to handle, but a new study has found that a strain of mutant lice may be all over the nation, and typical treatments available over the counter may be ineffective, causing the lice to develop an immunity, according to a Yahoo report.
In findings presented at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and Exposition this week by Southern Illinois University assistant professor Kyong Sup Yoon, the researchers colelcted samples from 30 states and found that 104 of 109 lice populations had a high level of gene mutations, making them resistant to standard pyrethroids treatments, which are common insecticides that use an ingredient called permethrin, which is commonly found in head lice treatment products.
This is a big problem for a child who gets head lice as simply picking up a treatment at a local pharmacy won’t necessarily do the trick, and there may be few other options. Yoon said the study is “alarming” and that the problem may go far beyond even the 25 states.
The lice populations have developed resistance to pyrethroid treatments likely to overuse by the general public, which allows the lice to genetically mutate and evolve to resist those treatments, developing an immunity over time. This new breed of super lice is spreading across the United States, and now the medical community has lost an important tool potentially.
Still, there are options. Pharmaceutical companies are working on new products that can eliminate products, although they will require a prescription. There’s also natural treatments, like tea trea oil or vinegar. You can also use typical lice-killing treatments, but if they don’t work, you’ll have to reach out to your doctor.