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At Huntington University, officials repel lice invasion

An outbreak of head lice at Huntington University has affected several students living on campus, a school official said.

“We’ve screened a lot of students at this point,” said Ron Coffey, vice president for student life. “And they have all received shampoos and treatment that they’re undertaking.”

Coffey said university officials believe they have the problem under control.

He said patient traffic at the University Health Center dropped off significantly Monday.

“We feel like we’re turning a good corner here,” he said.

The university became aware of the outbreak about a week ago. A group of students who returned at the end of January from a mission trip to India was likely the source of the lice, Coffey said.

Coffey declined to give an estimate of how many students contracted lice. He said about four dormitories had students affected by the pests.

Students who believe they may have lice are encouraged to visit the Health Center for a scalp exam. For students diagnosed with lice, the university is providing over-the-counter shampoo meant to kill lice and laundry money for washing clothes, hats and bedding.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, head lice are parasitic insects that feed on blood and cause intense itching. About the size of a strawberry seed, a louse cannot fly or jump.

They spread from one person’s head to another or through contact with contaminated items such as combs, pillows or clothing, the site said.

aingersoll@jg.net

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