Potential head lice outbreak leads to public health notice

Students should consider seeking treatment if they may have been exposed

JAKOB THORINGTON, Former Evergreen reporter

Cougar Health Services has issued a university notice on head lice.

Gene Patterson, WSU pest control manager, said students should consider treatment if they have shared a bed with someone who has lice, shared hair attire like hats or ribbons, been in close contact with a person with lice or have had sex with a person who has lice.

Lice treatment is available over the counter at CHS or pharmacy stores like Walmart, Rite Aid and Safeway.

Neither Pullman Regional Hospital, the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life nor Residence life could provide any comments about lice.

The Center for Disease Control recommends washing and soaking any infested items in water greater than 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes to kill lice and their eggs. If an item cannot be washed, it can be placed in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks to eliminate lice.

The CDC also recommends vacuuming furniture and floors to remove any infested hairs. Head checks can also be performed as lice can be seen by the naked eye. The CDC advises to not share items that encounter hair like hats and towels.

According to the CDC’s website, head lice symptoms include itching, a tickling sensation of something moving in the hair, irritability and sleeplessness and head sores caused from scratching. The CDC does not consider head lice a hazard as they are not known to transmit any diseases.