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Lice: causes and prevention

  • Lice are tiny brown and grey parasites that cause itching and scratching, especially on areas of the body that are covered with hair. Intense itching is the first symptom of lice infestation.
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    Lice are tiny brown and grey parasites that cause itching and scratching, especially on areas of the body that are covered with hair. Intense itching is the first symptom of lice infestation.

  • One can get lice by coming in close contact with either live lice or their eggs.
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    One can get lice by coming in close contact with either live lice or their eggs.

  • Lice can spread by head or body-to-body contact. It can also spread by sharing items such as clothing, headphones, combs, towels, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys.
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    Lice can spread by head or body-to-body contact. It can also spread by sharing items such as clothing, headphones, combs, towels, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys.

  • All three forms of lice - head, body and pubic - can be spread by sexual contact. Lying on a bed, or even using a toilet seat recently occupied by someone infected with lice can spread it.
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    All three forms of lice - head, body and pubic - can be spread by sexual contact. Lying on a bed, or even using a toilet seat recently occupied by someone infected with lice can spread it.

  • Medicated shampoos, creams, and lotions can end a lice infestation right away, but it may take about 5 days for the itching to stop.
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    Medicated shampoos, creams, and lotions can end a lice infestation right away, but it may take about 5 days for the itching to stop.

  • Washing clothing and bed linens in very hot water or putting them in airtight bags for 10 days can help kill the lice and their eggs.
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    Washing clothing and bed linens in very hot water or putting them in airtight bags for 10 days can help kill the lice and their eggs.

  • Hair-care items, like combs and brushes, can either be soaked in hot water or medicated shampoo or thrown away to eradicate lice.
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    Hair-care items, like combs and brushes, can either be soaked in hot water or medicated shampoo or thrown away to eradicate lice.

  • It is difficult to prevent lice but measures can be taken like avoiding physical contact with poeple who have lice. Children infected with lice should stay home from school and day care until treatment is complete.
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    It is difficult to prevent lice but measures can be taken like avoiding physical contact with poeple who have lice. Children infected with lice should stay home from school and day care until treatment is complete.

  • Do not share combs, brushes, hats, scarves, ribbons, or other personal items to prevent lice infestation.
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    Do not share combs, brushes, hats, scarves, ribbons, or other personal items to prevent lice infestation.

  • Examine and treat members of the household who have had close contact with a person infected with lice to prevent further infestation.
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    Examine and treat members of the household who have had close contact with a person infected with lice to prevent further infestation.

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