Cases of lice on campus, city under control

Male human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis. Technical settings : - focus stack of 57 images - microscope objective (Nikon achromatic 10x 160/0.25) directly on the body (with adapter ~30 mm)
Photo courtesy of  Gilles San Martin, Flickr Creative Commons


The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow College Health Professions sent a memo Sunday night informing faculty and staff of a lice spread in Mt. Pleasant and a Friday lice presence in the Health Professions Building at Central Michigan University.

Renee Castellon, communications and marketing coordinator at the Herbert H. and Grace A. College of Health Professions, sent the memo.

She said there was only one reported case in the Health Professions Building and everything should be back to normal. She said there were four rooms affected and this was not an issue for more than 12 hours.

“Any of the rooms we had known to have been affected have all been cleaned and sterilized,” Castellon said.

Castellon said the staff and faculty in the Health Professions building were all notified and told to pass on the information to students via Blackboard.

Castellon said there were also a number of cases in the surrounding off-campus area.

“We also know that there have been numerous cases reported in the Mt. Pleasant area,” Castellon said. “Specifically over in Mt Pleasant High school.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, head lice is spread most commonly by direct head-to-head contact. Lice does not survive for long away from the human head, so it is much less frequently spread by sharing clothing or belongings or infested furniture.

If infested, the CDC recommends to treat with 1-2 bottles (depending on length of hair) of lice medicine, also called pediculicide. The CDC says to avoid conditioner before treatment and to avoid a rewash for 1-2 days following treatment. You should change and clean your clothes following treatment. If infestation remains 8-12 hours following treatment, consult a doctor for further measures.

Castellon said even though the issue was under-control, she wanted to send out something as just a general heads up so people could be aware of the issue and how to potentially protect themselves.

“Luckily for us it came about on Friday, and Friday classes are pretty quiet,” Castellon said. “So they were able to get in the rooms and get them cleaned and sanitized and taken care of with everything resolved between Friday and Monday.”

Lice do not transmit disease and are not considered a serious medical condition.



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