A Super Lice Outbreak is Sweeping the Country


Scientists have revealed somewhat alarming news: A new super lice is sweeping the United States.

Studies show that 100 percent of lice tested in 42 states have been found to be a mutated version. So, what does this mean exactly? Just that you'll need to double down on pyrethrins and pyrethroids treatments to kill them.

Lice are the nasty little bugs that make their home in your hair, typically affecting children who spread it to one another. The mutated lice are resistant to the over the counter treatments used to kill them. Virtually every continental US state solely has the super lice.

Super Lice Outbreak
Angeliki Jackson / TODAY

The reason for the mutation is quite simple. Kyong Sup Yoon, Ph.D., who worked on the study, explained that, "If you use a chemical over and over, these little creatures will eventually develop resistance. So we have to think before we use a treatment."

The good news is that lice don't carry any kind of disease. If you or your child gets lice, doctors and scientists are now suggesting that you use more OTC treatment than you normally would.

Dr. Robin Gehris, chief of pediatric dermatology at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, weighed in on a new treatment process. "Treat the entire head and leave it on for a few hours and then repeat a week later," she suggested to Today. "If you still see things moving after the second treatment it's time to call the doctor."

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A Super Lice Outbreak is Sweeping the Country