'Mutant' head lice resistant to treatment - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

'Mutant' head lice resistant to treatment

Cropped Photo: Courtesy: CDC null / Cropped Photo: Courtesy: CDC null /

(CNN) -- A warning for parents -- a new and potentially drug-resistant species of head lice is showing up on the heads of kids around the U.S.

As many as 12 million American school children between the ages of three and 11 get lice.

Now there's the potential nuisance of "super lice."

A study found 95 percent of lice populations collected from 30 states tested positive for a mutation resistant to common over-the-counter treatments.

So what's a parent to do?

Health officials say you really do have to get in there and pick the lice out of your child's hair.

And fight the instinct to over-treat, or give preventive treatments -- because that's actually contributing to the resistance problem.

If the lice won't die or they come back, doctors can prescribe a shampoo with stronger chemicals that should be effective with resistant lice.

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