Lice ‘pandemic’ in schools

2011-03-17 12:50

A head lice pandemic has hit South African schools, particularly in Gauteng and Western Cape, a pharmaceutical company warned today.

“Everyone is at risk as head lice are extremely contagious,” OTC Pharma spokesperson Giulia Criscuolo said in a statement.

Head lice are small, wingless parasites that live in human hair feeding off small amounts of the host’s blood.

Their eggs, called nits, look like small yellow, tan or brown dots before they hatch and are often mistaken for dandruff.

Lice bites cause the skin to itch, which can lead to infection.

Criscuolo said many anti-lice products contained potentially harmful chemicals or insecticides, which may cause irritation or permeate the scalp.

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