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Watch out for those parasites: Lice cases expected to rise as school gets underway

It might be a good time to check your family to see if there's a problem. There's nothing appealing about being a host for dozens of blood-sucking parasites. (KTUL)

Lice season is underway, and with the school year getting underway, some areas are seeing an increase in cases.

It might be a good time to check your family to see if there's a problem. There's nothing appealing about being a host for dozens of blood-sucking parasites.

You can find lice by checking your hairline: From your forehead to behind your ears and the nape of your neck. Wade Huntsman of Lice Clinics of America said there are specific signs.

"What you're looking for is an egg that doesn't move," Huntsman said. "Lice will literally glue the egg to the hair."

At any one time, 5 percent of Americans have head lice, Huntsman said. Most cases involve kids, and girls have more problems because long hair can easily come into contact with others.

Mary Wade, a technician at Huntsman's clinic, said those who get lice tend to be a little creeped out.

"They've tried different treatments, and by the time they come to us they're more than a little stressed," Wade said.

Wade uses a hot air blower to dehydrate the lice and their eggs because they're evolving and getting tougher to kill. Huntsman said that means the over-the-counter remedies of the past are far less effective.

"The latest scientific evidence says 70 percent of the lice in Oklahoma are pesticide resistant," Huntsman said.

Mannford is one of the areas that's seen an uptick in cases, but the local pharmacist says it isn't a reflection on the community. Willie Higgins of Center Pharmacy said he likes to remember his grandfather’s philosophy on the issue.

'He just always made the mention, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed," Higgins said. "The only time you should be ashamed is when you don’t get rid of it."

Higgins also says, as a service to the community, they'll give the treatments to people who are short on cash.

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