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Parents Worried Over New Strains Of Treatment-Resistant ‘Super Lice’

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New strains of head lice may be coming to a school near you.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the new strains of lice, dubbed “Super Lice,” are showing resistance to traditional treatments and health experts are warning that schools are exactly where these newest strains are being found.

The tiny wingless insects spend their entire life on the human scalp, feeding exclusively on human blood.

Nine-year-old Thalia Surprise said the mere thought of head lice makes her shudder.

“I would feel nervous and shy to go to school because people would make fun of me,” she said.

Parents are also concerned over the new strains.

“I think parents should be extremely concerned — they eat you, walking and crawling on your head — a horrible feeling. I would never want my child to bring lice from school to home,” said Thalia’s mother, Maggie.

Researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst discovered that the Super Lice don’t seem to respond to synthetic chemicals — sodium chloride or chrysanthemum-based lice treatments — currently found on store shelves.

“Lice isn’t dangerous, but it is very, very contagious. And it can be very itchy and annoying for our patients,” said Dr. Allison Driansky, of Cohen Children’s Hospital.

Medical experts are handing out how-to videos and advising parents to follow directions of de-lousing products, McLogan reported.

For those unwilling to comb and pick, there are a number of lice removal stations in the Tri-State area, some of which use hot air to kill and remove the bugs.

A new Harris Poll survey said that 68 percent of parents believe over-the-counter lice abatement products do not resolve their children’s head lice.

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