Missouri among states home to mutant, resistant lice

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is among 25 states where mutant lice resistant to over-the-counter treatments have been found, according to a study presented by the American Chemical Society. 

Dr. Kyong Yoon of Southern Illinois University, conducted the study, and out of the 109 lice populations he studied, 104 were resistant to popular over the counter treatments. 

Jeanie Rademan, coordinator of health services for Jefferson City Public Schools, said she's not surprised that lice have developed a resistance. 

"People either don't use the treatments the right way or use too much," Rademan said. "When that happens the lice get used to the treatments and just come back."

Rademan said it's also important to see the treatment through to the end, because problems arise when lice aren't killed effectively and are given the chance to lay eggs.

"There's a reason that the phrase 'nit picking' has a negative connotation," Rademan said. "You have to go through with a comb and make sure you get rid of all the nits [lice eggs]."

The Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services recommends contacting your health care provider anytime you see lice on your person, especially in light of the new study. 

"We also recommend taking the extra step to contact your child's school and childcare provider if you suspect your child has lice," Andrea Waner, with the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, said. 

For more information on how to treat lice, visit the CDC's website or contact your health care professional. 

[Image courtesy of CDC.gov.]