Oh the joy of the Holidays, preparation for Christmas and school break vacations, the excitement in the air in early December overcomes adults and children. As we prepared for 2021 Christmas and the 2021 school winter break, the joy of the celebrations ahead and planned trips took over. Many of us had wonderful out of country trips planned. With Covid19 numbers somewhat under control in the latter part of last year, it seemed that trip planning and party planning had returned almost back to pre-covid level.
Lice outbreaks at schools after Thanksgiving were out of control, which is expected.
Usually, when families and friends gather together during Thanksgiving, the lice outbreaks prevail as cousins re-unite, sleepovers are numerous, and parental attention to children's hygiene is diminished due to all the hosting and traveling on their plates. Upon return to school after such fun filled Thanksgiving, and once parents regain control of their schedules and children's routine, they begin to notice signs of lice outbreak: itchy scalp, bumps at the nape of the neck, which are louse bites, along with white specs which resemble dandruff but do not easily pull off the hair strands, the nits! Once post-Thanksgiving break lice outbreaks were addressed, and lice treatments were administered, families braced themselves for the next school break, Christmas 2021.
However, the new variant of Covid19, known as Omicron emerged quickly on our radars. A more contagious, highly transmissable, super-spreader quickly contaminated and spread to the majority of the population. Christmas parties were cancelled, winter travels were cancelled, and many families remained home. There were no formal shutdowns or stay at home ordered enacted, however, families who tested positive for Covid19 were recovering at home and isolating to prevent spread. Others were self isolating to avoid catching the virus.
Once the winter break ended, school age kids were lucky enough to return back to school in person for 2022 school year. With a large portion of US population being vaccinated and may children over 5 being vaccinated, there is no need to prevent children from returning back to school in person. What are we seeing in the world of lice and lice treatments in January 2022? The rates of lice infestation is spreading just as easily Omicron. Interestingly enough, even though there was much less social interaction among families and children during winter break, the lice outbreaks in schools have not decreased. Where do lice outbreaks come from? We do have the answers...