‘Selfies’ Cause The Spread Of Lice?

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Beyond the display of narcissistic tendencies, the potential for shutting down WhatsApp for a few hours, or just clogging “that series of tubes” that is the Internet…”selfies” may be causing something even more sinister and downright nasty….the spread of head lice.

Selfies: Two in agreement?

While, apparently, “selfies” are meant to capture a moment in time and place, Marcy McQuillan who runs two (sickeningly cute named…Nitless Noggins) lice treatment centers in California believes that “selfies” will capture you much more than that: a nasty case of lice.

Lice can’t jump or fly which means that direct contact with someone’s lice-ridden head is the most likely way for you to contract them. Granted, sharing a comb, hat, headphones, etc. will likely get there as well if those items were infested with lice.

However, McQuillan believes that it’s “selfies” that are spreading lice despite the fact that there is no proof of this.

While I try to avoid superlatives myself, McQuillan doesn’t seem to share this practice with me, “Every teen I’ve treated, I ask about selfies, and they admit that they are taking them every day.” Wow, two uses of “every” in the same sentence.

Despite the speculative nature of McQuillan’s claims, Vanessa Mor, a supervisor at Lice Control in Oakland, CA recently said in an interview that she has seen an upturn in cases recently.

“That makes a lot of sense,” Mor told CNET. “In order to get it, you have to be in direct contact…”

An estimated 6 million to 12 million lice infestations occur in the country each year among children between the ages of 3 and 11, the Centers for Disease Control estimates. The CDC has nothing on its website mentioning “selfies.”

Opposing view

But Dr. Richard J. Pollack isn’t having this one bit, and his views are shared with other experts whom have refuted McQuillan’s claims.

“This is a marketing ploy, pure and simple,” Dr. Richard J. Pollack, who teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health and runs a pest identification business called IdentifyUS, and recently stated in an interview with NBC News that “Wherever these louse salons open a new branch, there always seems to be an epidemic. It’s good for business.”

I won’t claim to know the answer nor will I weigh in on the argument. That said, “selfies” like lice are pernicious at best, and despite the fact that I haven’t had head-to-head contact with anyone since I began this piece, I’m itching like crazy and need a frickin’ shower now. Horrible little creatures.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com

1 Comment on "‘Selfies’ Cause The Spread Of Lice?"

  1. “McQuillan believes that it’s “selfies” that are spreading lice despite the fact that there is no proof of this.”

    I believe “sexting” is causing blindness. /s

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