Although head lice are notorious for sucking blood from the scalp, they are not poisonous or disease-causing. They can be annoying, however, and can lead to psychological upset. Lice can be a real nuisance for both children and adults. If you are experiencing symptoms of head lice, you should consult a doctor.
Children are more likely to have a lice infestation than adults, and it’s common for nursing homes and younger children to have infestations. According to Canyon’s research, 50% of children will get lice at some point in their lives. The good news is that lice can be treated easily, and even recurring infestations can be prevented.
While head lice do not cause death, they are a major cause of anemia in children. A recent case involved a 12-year-old girl named Kaitlyn Yozviak. The lice had taken over her home in Ivey, Georgia. She died from heart failure, but she also had a massive infestation of head lice. The secondary cause of death was severe anemia, which Speare concluded was caused by the lice sucking blood from the victim. As a result, her parents were arrested for child cruelty and second-degree murder.
Head lice are easily transmitted by head-to-head contact. Other means of transmission include clothing and personal belongings shared with an infested person. However, this method is rare. The most common place to contract head lice is in preschool or elementary school, where children play close to each other. Those who work in childcare or with school-aged children are also at an increased risk.