Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Other Prophylactic

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge Bush.jpg

Did you know that the state of Kansas has a “no nit” policy? The press release below, from the Johnson County Health Department, informs us that cases of head lice have been reported in schools around the country. No word yet on whether frogs are falling from the ceilings and blood is running from the water fountains.

Pediculus humanus capitis, the press release says, are parasitic insects that can be transmitted through sharing combs, hats, towels and scrunchies, though, if you’re still using scrunchies, you probably deserve head lice. Preschool and elementary school children ages 3 to 11 are most commonly infected.

So if my kid is immediately ejected from the pristine and pearly white halls of a JoCo school thanks to a headful of cooties, what am I to do? Can I use my grandmother’s age-old remedy, which involves molasses, apple juice and Old Crow? Wait – that’s her cure for pregnancy. But never mind, because the press release reads, “Homeopathic remedies are not encouraged.”

It also says, “Close contacts to those infected may need prophylactic treatment.” No clue what that means, but it also sounds like a cure for pregnancy.

Personal hygiene and cleanliness have nothing to do with catching lice, the Health Department informs us. Try telling that to the mean kids on the school bus. -- Nadia Pflaum

Perhaps JoCo will learn from South Park's lice problem:

(OLATHE, KS - April 25, 2007) The Johnson County Health Department (JCHD) is receiving reports of head lice cases in schools throughout the county. JCHD is working closely with local school districts and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on this matter.

At this time, the state of Kansas has a "no nit" policy, in which schools will send a child home if nits are found in their hair. KDHE requires those with head lice to exclude themselves from school until treatment has been initiated and all nits are removed. This can be done with special shampoos made specifically for the treatment of a lice infestation and a fine-toothed comb. Close contacts to those infected may need prophylactic treatment. Homeopathic remedies are not encouraged.

Head lice (also called pediculus humanus capitis) are parasitic insects. They can be transmitted to anyone that is in close contact with an infected person, especially if they have had any head-to-head contact (examples: sharing combs, hair accessories, hats and towels). Preschool and elementary school children aged three to 11 are most commonly infected and then take it home to their families. Anyone can get lice; personal hygiene and cleanliness have nothing to do with becoming infected.

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