Letters: HPA updates advice on treatment of head lice

Dr Louise Newson wrote 'The most important step in treating head lice is to treat the person and family members at the same time' (GP, 26 September).

This advice is, I believe, outdated. The up-to-date guidance on the Health Protection Agency (HPA) website states: 'Close contacts of patients living in the same house are usually checked and treated if they have head lice'.

This seems consistent. Advice across most guidelines is only to treat an individual if live lice are discovered. I welcome her feedback.
Dr Simon Hodes, Watford

  • Dr Louise Newson responds:

Dr Hodes has a very valid and interesting point about the management of contact for nits. Although many families still request treatment for all the family members when someone in the household has nits, this is often very time wasting and unnecessary. This is highlighted in the most recent guidelines from the HPA. This most recent advice is more practical.

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