This sounds crazy, but teenage lice infestations are on the uptick. More and more young people are getting lice, and one doctor says selfies are to blame. But how could harmless photographs spread bloodsucking parasites between teenage scalps?
Well, just think about it. Posing together tightly in a selfie to fit everyone in the shot means that young people are bumping heads and getting close enough for the lice to move from person to person.
“Teenagers don’t usually get lice because they’re not sharing hats and things like that. And lice can’t jump, so the only way they can transmit lice is touching their heads together, and that’s happening with all these photos," Wisconsin physician Sharon Rink told a local news outlet, WBAY.
Other people within the lice world, like lice expert Katie Shepherd, founder and CEO of the Shepherd Institute for Lice Solutions, disagrees.
Shepherd blames the lack of vigilance from the public school system in fighting these nasty parasites. In addition to the decreased awareness, the formulas that used to kill off the bugs have become ineffective. Much like the MRSA virus, lice have evolved to resist antibiotic treatment.
“More and more schools are less proactive” about the problem, Shepherd said to Yahoo Parenting. “And more of the treatment products out there just aren’t working.”
But, most likely, it's a combination of the two. Young adults getting in close quarters of each other coupled with the fact that public school aren't taking lice as seriously could lead to a massive epidemic.
So, inform the teen in your life that if they want to continue to take selfies do so with their hair pulled back and remain at least nine inches away from the person next to you. If not, they could be the next person scratching their head, wondering how they got lice.