Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Selfies Spread Lice, Expert Claims -

Selfies Spread Lice, Expert Claims - 

Think twice before you get up close and personal for a selfie -- because that head-rubbing contact could allow lice to jump into your hair.

“I’ve seen a huge increase of lice in teens this year. Typically it’s younger children I treat, because they’re at higher risk for head-to-head contact. But now, teens are sticking their heads together every day to take cell phone pics,” Marcy McQuillan of Nitless Noggins, a lice removal service, told SFist.

Vanessa Mor of Oakland's Lice Control told CNET she's also seen an uptick in lice in teens and young adults. She didn't blame selfies, but didn't dismiss the idea either.

"That makes a lot of sense. In order to get it, you have to be direct contact -- sitting on the same towel, sharing headphones together or using someone else's hair curler, sharing hats, sweaters and scarves," Mor was quoted as saying.

But not everyone is buying the claim. In fact, one expert says this is a clear sign of someone selling something.

“Wherever these louse salons open a new branch, there always seems to be an epidemic. It’s good for business," Dr. Richard J. Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health told NBC News.

Pollack, who also runs the pest identification and guidance service IdentifyUS, said he's seen no evidence that lice is spreading among selfie-snapping teens, or any other set of teens for that matter. Teens almost never have lice, he said.

In any case, the CDC has some tips for lice prevention -- and first on the list is to "avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp)."

So maybe you should skip the selfies... just to be safe.


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