Head lice combing

Head lice combing

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Credit: PAUL WHITEHILL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head lice comb. 16-month-old baby boy's hair being combed for head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). These blood-sucking parasitic insects live on the human scalp. An infestation of head lice can lead to numerous living and dead lice, and lice eggs (nits) on the scalp, causing severe itchiness and skin inflammation. The least invasive treatment involves using a special comb (with narrow spaces) to remove the lice, lice eggs and other debris. Regular vacuuming will help to prevent transmission through fabric surfaces such as bedclothes and upholstery, though transmission is mostly through direct contact.

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