Lafayette, LA – July 30, 2020 – Lice Clinics of America in Louisiana, part of the Lice Clinics of America 200 clinic network, saw an increase of 47 percent in Lafayette and Lake Charles and a 54 percent increase in West Monroe in lice activity from April to May of this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Infestations of lice affecting the entire family have been more severe during the pandemic, likely due to the fact that families have isolated at home together.
“We were deemed an essential business, so we were able to stay open,” says Shanna Castille, owner of the three clinics in Louisiana. “We followed all safety protocols and all of our staff were able to stay healthy.”
In order to ensure the safety of staff and clients, each client was vetted over the phone about possible contact with COVID-19. Once arriving at the clinic, each client had their temperature taken at the door and were asked the same questions about COVID-19 again. Two of the clinics have individual treatment rooms, so families were able to be separated while they were being treated. In West Monroe, clients were limited to one family at a time due to the clinic being one large room with multiple chairs.
“One thing that we noticed is that more people in one family were coming in at a time,” says Castille. “A family of five would come in with at least four members with lice. The lice have been spreading throughout extended family more than to friends because families have been quarantining together.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Head-to-head contact is common during play at school, at home and elsewhere, such as sports activities, the playground, slumber parties, and camps.” The CDC estimates 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children 3-11 years of age.
Dr. Krista Lauer, Medical Director of LCA, states, “If you have children who are elementary and middle-school ages, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or to properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group.”