Q:

How do you get lice?

A:

Quick Answer

Head lice spread when one person comes into contact with the hair of an infested person. Lice also spread through clothing items, such as hats and scarves, and personal items, such as brushes and combs, although these methods of transmission are less common. Direct head-to-head contact, such as the contact that occurs when individuals hug each other, poses the greatest risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Lice are parasitic insects that are found worldwide. Although lice cannot fly or jump, these insects are tiny and crawl very quickly, so they can be difficult to detect. Lice are often found on the head, in the eyebrows and even on the eyelashes of infected people. Although they are easy to transmit, lice are not known to spread diseases. Lice are often detected by parting the hair into small sections and combing against the scalp with a fine-toothed comb. A magnifying glass or extremely bright light can also be used to detect these insects.

According to the CDC, lice must feed on the blood of their hosts several times per day in order to survive, and they can live up to 30 days if they have a host to feed on. Without a host, lice die within one or two days.

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