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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long is the incubation period for head lice?

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Dr. Sumanth Amperayani

Pediatrician, Pulmonology

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 7566 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 5 Apr 2017 in Child Health
Question: Hello - My daughter is one. She goes to a great in home daycare. My daycare provider's children are all school age and do not see my daughter at all. Her son has lice. My daughter does not nap where he sleeps but does play around the house and sits on the couch, etc. What are the chances of my daughter getting lice? How long is the incubation period?
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Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Lice can spread by fomites

Detailed Answer:
Hi.....I understand your concern.

Head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Though uncommon, head lice can be spread by sharing clothing or belongings or through fomites....like...sharing clothing or articles or lying on a bed, couch, pillow, or carpet that has recently been in contact with an infested person.

The life span of an adult louse on a host ranges up to 30 days. During this time, the female head louse can deposit about 90 eggs. After incubating for seven to 10 days, the nits hatch and, after another 10 days, mature into adult head lice and the cycle begins again.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth
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