Lice are developing resistance to over-the-counter, home treatme - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lice are developing resistance to over-the-counter, home treatments

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Lice are developing resistance to over-the-counter, home treatments (WFSB) Lice are developing resistance to over-the-counter, home treatments (WFSB)

A new study said lice are resistant to the most common treatments in at least 25 states nationwide, including Connecticut.

Researchers from Southern Illinois University collected lice from 30 states across America.

Two dozen, they said, developed resistance to a common ingredient used in over-the-counter, and at-home remedies.

"I think it's disappointing, but not surprising,” said Dr. Nicholas Bennett, medical director for Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

More than 100 lice populations tested revealed high levels of gene mutations connected to the resistance to pyrethroids, which is an anti-insecticide and a common ingredient found in most medicated lice lotions and shampoos to treat the bugs.

"What this means is the lice are no longer affected by that drug and what's interesting, it’s not just how many mutations are identified, it's three different mutations to identify some of the insects,” Bennett said.

Graycie Fichera, 8, isn’t bashful talking about lice that have lived among the hairs on her head.

“I know a lot of people who had it and it's not very fun,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, lice impacts 12 million school-aged children every year.

“You get really itchy, your mom is like 'why you itching and everything' then checks your head and it doesn't really matter if it’s a boy or girl,” Fichera said.

“It's almost like a rite of passage in elementary school. Every kid is going to get it,” Graycie’s mom Tina Fichera said.

Bennett said parents shouldn’t panic because there are other options.

"Over the counter, there are some that are prescriptions, there are some insecticides,” Bennett said, adding that parents should look at the ingredients and talk to a pediatrician.

Bennett said some of the treatments are Verbemectin, Spinade, and benzoyl alcohol.

Tina Fichera said she went green and used a special shampoo.

National health experts said parents don’t have to keep children home from school if they get lice, but Bennett said personally he would keep his own children home so they didn’t spread it.

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