Yuck… We’ll stick to solo selfies from now on. The growth in popularity of group selfies is being blamed for the spread of lice amongst teenagers.
According to NY Daily News reports:
Are teenagers spreading head lice when they put their heads together to capture the perfect selfie?
This idea grabbed headlines when Marcy McQuillan, who runs two Nitless Noggins lice treatment centers in California, told SFist about a spike in head lice among high schoolers.
“Every teen I’ve treated, I ask about selfies, and they admit that they are taking them every day,” she said.
So, is there really a booming lice epidemic, and are selfies the root of the problem?
Experts who spoke to the Daily News were skeptical, but said it was possible that shooting a side-by-side selfie could spread head lice.
“In all likelihood it is not the cause of an epidemic, but it is not impossible that it can happen,” Lice Treatment Center’s co-founder Liz Solovay said.
Solovay explained that a person could get head lice if he or she put his or her head next to someone whose hair has tons of live lice.
However, the chances of this happening “are not high,” she said.
Nancy Gordon, CEO of head lice removal company Lice Knowing You, says she has also seen an increase in the number of cases among teenagers, but doesn’t think selfies are necessarily to blame.
Instead, the infestations could be caused by the constant “togetherness” of teenage girls.
“They work in close proximity,” she said. “They are constantly sharing clothes and hair products.”
She also pointed out that teens often greet each other with hugs.
And if one person in a group of friends has head lice, he or she won’t tell the others, she said.
Others believe McQuillan may have had ulterior motives for spreading the information.
“This is a marketing ploy, pure and simple,” Dr. Richard J. Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health told NBC News. “Wherever these louse salons open a new branch, there always seems to be an epidemic. It’s good for business.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s no reliable data about how many people in the U.S. get head lice, but the parasites are estimated to affect 6 million to 12 million children ages 3 to 11 annually.
Who do you believe? Will you inform your kids about these theories?