Fighting Super Lice

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 1:00pm

Drug-resistant head lice can be difficult to treat, but they aren't invincible.

Lice are a common problem for children.

While they are harmless, they are becoming more difficult to get rid of.

Sophie and Bennett Orenstein were scratching their heads for at least a month before their parents knew there was a problem.

The counter remedies they used did not work.

Dr. Gabrielle von-Simson, who treated the Orensteins, says the parasites have developed a resistance to over the counter medication and may not disappear with one application.

"What I recommend is the manual mechanical removal of the active lice," she says.

It's a tedious and unpleasant task, but Dr. von-Simson says it's the best way to get rid of lice.

Olive oil and a fine tooth comb are what finally gave Sophie and Bennett some relief.

Once you rid your head of lice, you must also wash all your bed linens and towels as well as hats and hairbrushes.

Items that can't be washed can be stored in a plastic bag for two weeks.

"It is not a public health hazard," Dr. von-Simson says. "It is not life threatening. It does not cause infections. It does not communicate disease, and you're gonna get through it."

Doctors say the best prevention is frequent head checks.

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