Head Lice Outbreak Hits Northeast Florida

Spreading across our area in record numbers is a problem so small you can barely see it.

Head lice.

Experts say Northeast Florida is having one of its biggest outbreaks to date with some of the hardest hit areas being the Beaches and San Marco.

“From Ponte Vedra to Atlantic Beach and everywhere in between, every single school,” said Mandy Ottesen.

Ottesen owns Fresh Heads, the first lice treatment salon in our area. This week at Fresh Heads they treated more patients than they typically see in an entire month.

Ottesen believes the lice are becoming resistant to many at-home treatments.

“We have families come in every single day and tell us they just treated them last night with whatever pesticide. But when we start looking, there are bugs that are alive and well,” said Ottesen.

To kill them at her salon, Ottesen uses the LouseBuster, an FDA-approved machine that blows out heated, dry air.

“It takes about 30 minutes and it’s incredibly effective,” she said.

But to get to the real root of the problem, this bug buster says it’s going to take parents being proactive.

“If you don’t know to look, it’s going to get pretty bad to the point where you’re going to have a hard time getting rid of it,” said Ottesen.
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