How Lice Spread

It is common for people to think that lice can fly or jump from person to person.  In actuality, lice can only crawl from host to host.  Lice do not fly or jump, but they do crawl pretty quickly.  The most common way for lice to spread is when heads are pressed together.

Children are the most susceptible to a head lice outbreak because of the manner in which they play, learn, and explore the world around them.  Though they are often given plenty of space, kids are usually seen huddled in a group or focused together on a project or experiment with their heads together.  If one kid is infected with head lice, the lice can spread quickly through a classroom.  If not treated quickly, the outbreak can affect the whole school.

Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person is uncommon. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.  According to the CDC

Lice need a host to survive. They cannot survive for more than 24 hours without a host, which is why it is uncommon for head lice to spread through objects such as hats and coats.  These days, however, there has been an uptick in the number of children getting head lice.  This may be in part to the social trend of taking selfies.

Mutant head lice are spreading faster than ever because of the social trend of taking group selfie snaps. Experts said the phenomenon of the self-taken mobile phone photographs has been causing the pests to spread among older children.  Selfies causing super strong head lice to spread faster than ever | North Devon Journal

Like stated earlier, lice spread when heads are in contact with one another.  Most group selfies are taken with participants jammed into the camera’s focus area.  This can lead to teens spreading head lice among their peers.  In short, not pressing heads together might be the best way to avoid getting head lice.


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