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Head Lice!!

Edinburgh, United...
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2 posts
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Head Lice!!

My wife has caught head lice on 3 occasions over the past 3 years when flying to europe on holiday. We normally go on holiday twice a year so this seems like a pretty high rate of contamination. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

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1. Re: Head Lice!!

No. Have you been mixing with kids more than usual? Why did you focus on flying? You could (maybe) equally well have said ;

My wife has caught head lice on 3 occasions over the past 3 years when staying in hotels

My wife has caught head lice on 3 occasions over the past 3 years when eating out in European restaurants

My wife has caught head lice on 3 occasions over the past 3 years when going on holiday with our grandkids

My wife has caught head lice on 3 occasions over the past 3 years when using a rental car on holiday

.... etc

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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2. Re: Head Lice!!


Not overtly common, but not unheard of either... This is one of the perils of a semi-shard communal property environment..

Unfortunately, not all parts of the aircraft, like seats are treated for such parasitic material like lice, unless a special notation is made and the aircraft has the time scheduled in the maintenance shop for the proper treatment to be done--- since the remedy in most cases is a fumigation-- which uses semi or wholly toxic materials and requires a period of spray followed by a ventilation period, it's generally not something that can be done on short notice..

Travel Safe,

Lancashire, United...
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for Playa Blanca
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3. Re: Head Lice!!

Seems strange she's managed it 3 times. I haven't, and don't know anybody that has caught head lice from flying.

Much more likely to have caught it from a different source I would think.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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4. Re: Head Lice!!

Does she have a "special hat" she only wears on holiday? Maybe she keeps re infesting herself if that hat has never been treated.

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5. Re: Head Lice!!

I presumed the op focused on flying because that is when the problem has appeared. Like previous post, I was going to say is there a special hat your wife wears on holiday - special brush/comb only used for holidays - or could be very unfortunate and it was the hotel bedding. Probably very difficult to pinpoint where problem originates from.

London, United...
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6. Re: Head Lice!!

I agree with previous posts - airline travel is not the likely source of infestation. The lice are transmitted by person to person contact - typically among school children. Head lice usually survive for less than 1 day away from the scalp at normal room temperature, and their eggs cannot hatch at an ambient temperature lower than that near the scalp.(Ref: Meinking TA. Infestations. Curr Probl Dermatol.1999; 11 :73 –120) Is she visiting kids in Europe?

Edited: 14 May 2011, 00:59
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294 posts
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7. Re: Head Lice!!

Maybe just a coincidence that ye choose to go on holiday the same time as the head lice.

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7,680 posts
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8. Re: Head Lice!!

mummys and grannys get headlice more often than daddys.

this is usually thought to be because the lice need head-to-head contact to spread between hosts.

i think it unlikely that your unfortunate wife got headlice from the aircraft. maybe they are bed-bugs?

if she remains concerned, then tell her to comb a thick layer of conditioner through her dry hair on boarding her next flight. regularly comb her hair with a fine-toothed [nit] comb during the flight, then wash hair thoroughly on arrival. the conditioner makes it difficult for the bugs to cllmb aboard and combing breaks their little legs so they can't cling on.

good luck!


Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Head Lice!!

I agree with Pam - when my daughter was in primary school, there was an outbreak of head lice and unfortunately she got them too. I kept spending a small fortune on chemist-only treatments, only for her to be reinfested. 3 or 4 times in 3 weeks I redid the whole process and was heartily sick and tired of a few other parents doing nothing so I checked out what natural remedies there were. I read that they don't like rosemary, lavender and ti-tree, so bought shampoo and conditioner, added each of those oils to both and washed her hair daily (and braided her hair every day - it was waist length). I don't know if the shampoo/conditioner 'trick' worked or if the outbreak dissipated, but she never got them again. I also added the oils when washing the sheets, etc (and used hot water).

Edited: 14 May 2011, 01:55
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12,655 posts
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10. Re: Head Lice!!

When you say your wife has caught them after flights when does she notice in relation to the flight ?, how bad has the infestation been? number of adults, eggs etc