Drug-resistant lice on rise as school year begins

Parents are facing an alarming discovery as millions of children begin the school year: Drug-resistant head lice are very likely coming to a school near you. 

In 25 states, including Florida, researchers have found lice that are resistant to common over-the-counter treatments. 

For many years, Permethrin has been the go-to medication against head lice, but scientists say continued exposure has caused the lice to develop genetic mutations, making them immune to the treatment.  

The good news is, prescription medications that don't contain Permethrin are still effective, but they are expected to be more costly than the over-the-counter option.

Head lice, which can't jump or fly, transmit by direct physical contact. The insects infest the neck and head, feeding on blood and attaching their eggs to the base of hair.

Between 6 and 12 million U.S. children are infested with head lice every year.