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- A parasitic infestation of the hairy regions of a persons body by tiny insects which feed on the hosts blood.
- Infestation is nearly guaranteed with sufficient exposure. These parasites are common enough that whole families will become infested in short order due to close proximity living conditions.
- Common transmission is through close personal physical contact, or sharing of clothing.
- Shaving of heads and body hair will make potential hosts less hospitable to these parasites. Some pungent 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.
- From exposure to a full infestation takes about 2 weeks, as lice will rapidly reproduce.
- An infested person and their clothing is contagious from about 1 week after infestation to four weeks after the last lice has been killed, if even a few eggs survive they may reinfest the same or a new host.
- Itching, tiny bloody scabs behind ears or other places where the skin is thin enough to provide an easy meal. Physical presence of adult lice or tiny eggs attached to hair follicles.
- Lice are easily cured, but due to the possibility of reinfestation it is difficult to maintain a lice free state, unless preventative measures are taken.
- The best method of treating them is a shave and shampoo of the infested person.
- 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.