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Avatar universal

Head lice transfer

Hi, I work as a dental hygienist, and a few days ago a patient came in for treatment. As usual I was wearing a dental jacket, with short sleeves, bare arms. I did what was required, and patient left.  After she left, my nurse told me the patient's hair was literally crawling with head lice. I didn't notice it, was too focused on the treatment to be done. But as far as I know, I didn't physically touch the patient's head or hair, but did get very close and my dental jacket may have touched it at some point, also my arm maybe. There was no head to head contact directly. Am I a high risk of head lice transfer? I've heard head lice can't jump but they can spread via clothing contact. Some forums do state head lice can jump too but I dont know if those can be trusted. Thanks
5 Responses
1415174 tn?1453246703
No you are right they don't jump. But like you said head to head contact or clothing. So, if you got any on the clothing and they got on you that would be a risk. Launder the clothing in lice shampoo. And, check your head and body hair for lice. Use a magnifying glass to make sure. You may be okay.
10149444 tn?1408127490
you have a nurse at your dental practice?  Anyway, the nurse should have advised her to go home and treat the problem.  Head lice is very contagious especially in people situations, sitting in chairs where others will sit, jackets hanging up where other clothing is hung.  Chair should be sanitized, your clothing should be washed in very hot water and anything not washable put in a dryer for twenty minutes minimum.  Have someone check your hair to see if there are tiny micro nits about less than an inch from your scalp.  These are lice eggs which could hatch in a couple days....good luck
9118730 tn?1401804252
Wash your clothes that may have come in contact with the patient in hot water. I think there is a shampoo that you can use to kill the lice in your head. Do it twice if you can.
Avatar universal
Did you end up getting lice?
1415174 tn?1453246703
It doesn't sound like it. See this link from the CDC. It should answer your questions. Lice don't jump and it has to be direct contact.

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html

Regards,
mkh9
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