Amarillo, TX - As students head back to school, a new form of lice may leave some parents scratching their heads.
Homework has yet to be assigned, but lice are already becoming smarter. For parents of returning students, solving the new pest problem may not be so easy.
Lice are mutating and their itchy powers can now resist some of the common remedies we use to treat them.
It's a problem pediatrician Mariada George expects will fill her waiting room once students go back to school. "It's just a lucky mutation and then that one just takes off, so him and 30 billion of his closest friends are now resistant to the medications we like to use against them," said George.
The resistance includes some of the most popular treatments on drugstore shelves with an ingredient called permethrin.
If over the counter remedies fail, George said parents will have to turn to prescription medication instead. "So far, we'll knock on wood, there is no resistance to the prescription medications and there are several of those we can try," said George.
However, George said the prescriptions can be pricey. "Co-pays can be up to $50. Sometimes they are up to $200 if you are on third tier or if insurance doesn't want to pay for it, or what if you're self-pay? So it can be somewhat expensive. That is the downside."
Researchers have found the resistant super lice in 25 states, including Texas. To see what states, click here.