You can get lice by coming into contact with either lice or their eggs. Eggs hatch in about one week. Lice can't fly or walk on the ground. They spread through:
May. 22, 2012
- Head-to-head or body-to-body contact. This may occur as children or family members play or interact closely.
- Proximity of stored belongings. Storing infested clothing in closets, in lockers or on side-by-side hooks at school, or storing personal items such as pillows, blankets, combs and stuffed toys in proximity at home can permit lice to spread.
- Items shared among friends or family members. These may include clothing, headphones, brushes, combs, hair decorations, towels, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys.
- Contact with contaminated furniture. Lying on a bed or sitting in overstuffed, cloth-covered furniture recently used by someone with lice can spread them. Lice can live for one to two days off the body.
- Sexual contact. Pubic lice usually spread through sexual contact and most commonly affect adults. Pubic lice found on children may be a sign of sexual exposure or abuse.
- Head lice: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Body lice: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/body/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Pubic "crab" lice: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/pubic/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Priciples and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/book/player/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..00293-9. Accessed Jan. 20, 2010.
- Goldstein AO, et al. Pediculosis capitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2898131. Accessed Feb. 17, 2012.
- Burkhart CN, et al. Fomite transmission in head lice. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2007;56:1044.
- Head lice: Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Body lice: Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/body/treatment.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Pubic "crab" lice: Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/pubic/treatment.html. Accessed Feb. 14, 2012.
- Mumcuoglu KY, et al. Repellency of citronella for head lice: Double-blind randomized trial of efficacy and safety. Israel Medical Association Journal. 2004;6:756.
- Semmler M, et al. Repellency against head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). Parasitology Research. 2010;106:729.
- Frankowski BL, et al. Head lice. Pediatrics. 2010;126:392.
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