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Head Lice

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SCIENCE
March 11, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein
Head lice are itchy, nasty nuisances that can be hard to get rid of. Can a pill provide relief? A new study has found that in tough cases, an oral medication kills the parasites more effectively than a prescription lotion applied to the scalp. The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared ivermectin -- an antiparasitic drug used for human river-blindness cases and animal parasites -- with a lotion containing the insecticide malathion. Ivermectin is not approved for use in the U.S. for head lice.
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NATIONAL
December 15, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LOVELOCK, Nev. - For years, school nurse Deborah Pontius came to work with nits to pick. On some days in this isolated central Nevada town, she'd actually sift through the hair of students found with live head lice. But something bigger bugged her: the district's policy of sending children home when they were infested with head lice - grayish-white insects that suck blood from the scalp and cause severe itching. Pontius saw stricken students miss weeks of school. A reentry ticket involved painstaking inspections, with parents required to prove that not a single hitchhiker resided on a child's head.
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NEWS
February 8, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
These seem to be good times for head lice and the folks who fight them -- where I live, at least.  Just last week, a friend's daughter had to miss a day of school when lice and nits arrived. My friend brought in professionals to give the child a comb-through to clear away the critters, and get her readmitted into school.  A few days later, my own kid's elementary school sent a letter warning parents to be on the lookout (and helpfully offering a referral to a louse-removal service: "We nit-pick so you don't have to. ")
HEALTH
August 30, 2013 | By Jessica Ogilvie
As children return to school this fall, parents likewise return to worrying about ailments, both physical and emotional, that might befall their children on their way to - and in - the classroom. Whether it's bullying or head lice, thinking about what could go wrong can be overwhelming. But not all school-related issues are created equal. In order to maintain their own sanity and the sanity of their kids, parents should try to think objectively about what issues truly warrant their attention.
OPINION
October 3, 2004 | MICHAEL LEWIS, Michael Lewis is the author, most recently, of "Moneyball."
It's back-to-school night at Tallulah's new kindergarten, and it occurs a full three weeks after she has gone back to school. It's the first time we've been given a clue what our oldest daughter has been up to. The first day of school, which I had anticipated would be an elaborate, emotionally charged ritual, was conducted with cold Teutonic efficiency. Moments after we'd helped our children find their lunch cubbies and stow their backpacks, we were shown the door.
NEWS
January 31, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
Fewer things provoke more disgust (even though they present no public health threat) than head lice. More and more parents are discovering this tiny beast, which spreads from head-to-head contact, in young children’s hair. Columnist Nicole Brochu of the Sun Sentinel in South Florida can sympathize. Her children have had head lice four times in five years -- enough to make her question the no-nit policy embraced by as many as 82% of schools nationwide. She writes: "Here's the real head-scratcher: Despite the accepted scientific fact that lice are not a health threat, school systems across the country reject the sound advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics by barring any child from attending school if they have even a single nit on their head.
NEWS
July 27, 2010
Parents who have been fretting about their kids' junk food consumption, lack of exercise, questionable oral hygiene, astonishing infection risks, poor study habits or excessive social networking need to make way for two more worries -- child-threatening medical devices and drug-resistant lice.  The current issue of the journal Pediatrics  features these gems: "Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children" and "Clinical Report -- Head Lice."
NEWS
September 22, 2010
Head lice get a bad rap. Yes they're pesky and send parents straight to anxiety central, but they aren't life-threatening and they aren't cause for keeping kids out of school. So said the American Academy of Pediatrics in a report this summer that advised school districts across the nation to abandon their traditional "no nits" policy that bar children from classrooms if they have lice eggs (nits) in their hair. Two counties in Florida, the Sun Sentinel reports, say not so fast.
NATIONAL
December 15, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LOVELOCK, Nev. - For years, school nurse Deborah Pontius came to work with nits to pick. On some days in this isolated central Nevada town, she'd actually sift through the hair of students found with live head lice. But something bigger bugged her: the district's policy of sending children home when they were infested with head lice - grayish-white insects that suck blood from the scalp and cause severe itching. Pontius saw stricken students miss weeks of school. A reentry ticket involved painstaking inspections, with parents required to prove that not a single hitchhiker resided on a child's head.
HEALTH
July 16, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
Researchers have hit upon a potential new tool to fight the spread of malaria — a drug commonly used to treat head lice and heartworm. The Colorado State University scientists made the discovery while in Senegal during malaria season in August 2008 and August 2009. The drug, ivermectin, has been used in Africa for more than 15 years to treat river blindness, a parasitic disease that often leaves its victims blind and is common in the same regions where malaria is contracted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
The school health clerk took a comb and pointed to the near-microscopic bugs crawling up and down my daughters' scalps. I cringed. Then she checked my head for the pesky parasites. I held my breath. We had lice. Lots and lots of lice. My youngest daughter scratched her head and started crying. Embarrassed, we headed home. And that began the frustrating, icky, unending, exhausting, humiliating, disgusting battle against the bugs. Parents across the nation are terrified of lice - not because they cause disease, but because even one minuscule egg has the power to keep children out of school and their mothers and fathers out of the office.
NEWS
February 8, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
These seem to be good times for head lice and the folks who fight them -- where I live, at least.  Just last week, a friend's daughter had to miss a day of school when lice and nits arrived. My friend brought in professionals to give the child a comb-through to clear away the critters, and get her readmitted into school.  A few days later, my own kid's elementary school sent a letter warning parents to be on the lookout (and helpfully offering a referral to a louse-removal service: "We nit-pick so you don't have to. ")
HEALTH
July 16, 2011 | By Daniela Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
Researchers have hit upon a potential new tool to fight the spread of malaria — a drug commonly used to treat head lice and heartworm. The Colorado State University scientists made the discovery while in Senegal during malaria season in August 2008 and August 2009. The drug, ivermectin, has been used in Africa for more than 15 years to treat river blindness, a parasitic disease that often leaves its victims blind and is common in the same regions where malaria is contracted.
NEWS
January 31, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
Fewer things provoke more disgust (even though they present no public health threat) than head lice. More and more parents are discovering this tiny beast, which spreads from head-to-head contact, in young children’s hair. Columnist Nicole Brochu of the Sun Sentinel in South Florida can sympathize. Her children have had head lice four times in five years -- enough to make her question the no-nit policy embraced by as many as 82% of schools nationwide. She writes: "Here's the real head-scratcher: Despite the accepted scientific fact that lice are not a health threat, school systems across the country reject the sound advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics by barring any child from attending school if they have even a single nit on their head.
NEWS
September 22, 2010
Head lice get a bad rap. Yes they're pesky and send parents straight to anxiety central, but they aren't life-threatening and they aren't cause for keeping kids out of school. So said the American Academy of Pediatrics in a report this summer that advised school districts across the nation to abandon their traditional "no nits" policy that bar children from classrooms if they have lice eggs (nits) in their hair. Two counties in Florida, the Sun Sentinel reports, say not so fast.
NEWS
July 27, 2010
Parents who have been fretting about their kids' junk food consumption, lack of exercise, questionable oral hygiene, astonishing infection risks, poor study habits or excessive social networking need to make way for two more worries -- child-threatening medical devices and drug-resistant lice.  The current issue of the journal Pediatrics  features these gems: "Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children" and "Clinical Report -- Head Lice."
NEWS
August 26, 1987 | From Reuters
Scientists said Turesday they had found head lice in the combs of Jewish warriors who fought the Romans in Israel 18 centuries ago. Long-buried lice and their eggs were found by government and Hebrew University researcher workers on combs from the first and second centuries unearthed in Israeli desert caves. Some of the combs were uncovered by archaeologists in caves of rebels who fought under the legendary Jewish warrior Bar-Kokhba against Roman soldiers in the years 132 to 135.
HEALTH
August 2, 1999 | JOE GRAEDON and TERESA GRAEDON
Question: I am a medical student in London, now on holiday in the States. I read your column about head lice and want to suggest a possible solution. In between leaving secondary school and starting medical school, I worked for a year in a boys' boarding school. We had many lice attacks and found that the most effective way to eliminate them was to use a very fine lice comb with plenty of hair conditioner.
SCIENCE
March 11, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein
Head lice are itchy, nasty nuisances that can be hard to get rid of. Can a pill provide relief? A new study has found that in tough cases, an oral medication kills the parasites more effectively than a prescription lotion applied to the scalp. The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared ivermectin -- an antiparasitic drug used for human river-blindness cases and animal parasites -- with a lotion containing the insecticide malathion. Ivermectin is not approved for use in the U.S. for head lice.
HEALTH
November 13, 2006 | Regina Nuzzo, Special to The Times
IN the war against head lice, we face an enemy that is fast and plentiful, with nimble armies that can evolve and outwit standard weaponry. Will we ever take the lead in this scalp-biting, nit-picking arms race?
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