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Wayne State University

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Media Report

March 9, 2014

WSU pediatrics professor comments in article examining "super" lice


New research shows that bugs known as super lice have developed genetic mutations that make them resistant to many of the over-the-counter and prescription chemicals that used to kill them. Dr. Eric Ayers, an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics with the Wayne State University Physicians Group and Children's Hospital of Michigan, said the problem is growing. "We have seen an increased number of cases of it in the last six months," said Ayers, noting that the biggest challenge in fighting the spread of super lice is the misuse of over-the-counter and prescription treatments. He said that if the instructions aren't followed exactly, the lice can not only survive, but grow stronger. They're then able to tolerate that same medication the next time it is applied. Then, those more-resistant bugs can move from the head of one child to another, spreading super lice.


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