Lice

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About

Description
A parasitic infestation of the hairy regions of a persons body by tiny insects which feed on the hosts blood.

Contagion

Virulence
Infection is nearly guaranteed with sufficient exposure. These parasites are common enough that whole families will become infected in short order due to close proximity living conditions.
Vector(s)
Common transmission is through close personal physical contact, or sharing of clothing.
Prevention
Shaving of heads and body hair will make potential hosts less hospitable to these parasites. some oils or creams can be applied to the skin which may deter them. Frequent laundering of clothes and changing of bedding can help prevent recurring infestations.

Course

Incubation
From exposure to a full infestation takes about 2 weeks, as lice will rapidly reproduce.
Contagious
An infested person and their clothing is contagious from about 1 week after infection to four weeks after the last lice has been killed, if even a few eggs survive they may reinfect the same or a new host.
Symptoms
Itching, tiny bloody scabs behind ears or other places where the skin in thin enough to provide an easy meal. Physical presence of adults, or the tiny eggs attached to hair follicles.

Treatment

Curability
Lice are easily cured, but due to the possibility of reinfection it is difficult to maintain a lice free state, unless preventative measures are taken.
General
The best method of treating them is a shave and shampoo of the infested person.
Medicinal
Some salves, oils or creams might help kill off the adults, but may require re-application to ensure killing any lice from late hatching eggs. Smoke bathes it sometimes effective at repelling or killing the lice depending on the materials burned to produce medicinal smoke.

Stories

See Also