Strain of 'super lice' moves into Kentucky and Indiana - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Strain of 'super lice' moves into Kentucky and Indiana

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The outbreaks of so-called "super lice" span from the West to the Northeast, and South. The outbreaks of so-called "super lice" span from the West to the Northeast, and South.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A strain of so-called "super lice" has moved into Kentucky and Indiana.

The bugs can't be killed with most over-the-counter treatments.

The outbreak has been reported in 25 states. One local doctor says parents are often fearful about their children getting lice. "I think people have a lot of fears about head lice and how easy it is to catch. Usually, if a child has head lice, they have to have their head really close to another child, because lice don't jump, they crawl. You don't want them to share combs, brushes, hats," said Dr. Lesa Sutton-Davis with Kosair Children's Medical Associates. 

Sutton-Davis says it is called "super-lice" because the lice have mutated and are resistant to normal treatments. "It has become more resistant to the things we typically use to treat it. Rid and Nix are the most common products those are available over counter. Those are based on a pyrethroid pesticide made from chrysanthemums but the lice have mutated, so that's not killing them very well anymore."

Former treatments had a 100 percent success rate against lice in 2000, but now only work in 25 percent of cases.

A new FDA-approved treatment called AirAlle been found to be effective against the super lice. It costs about $170.

Sutton-Davis says ovide, a different pesticide, works pretty well in getting rid of super-lice. She also says there are new products like Natroba, Spinosad, and benzyl alcohol which she says work by suffocating the louse.

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