Acute Communicable
Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

Call 211 For Information 24/7

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
 Head Lice

Head lice are small insects found on the heads of people. They are parasitic, since they feed on human blood. Without blood, they cannot survive. Lice that fall off a person's head cannot survive in the environment for no more than two days. Lice do not jump and do not have wings to fly. They are most often spread by head-to-head contact with an infested person. Contact can occur by sharing infested clothing (hats, scarves, coats, etc.) or by using infested items (combs, brushes, towels, etc.). Infestations are treated with medicated shampoo. Head lice is common among school-aged children. Routine or school-wide screening does not reduce infestation rates. Instead, the California Department of Public Health recommends routine screening by parents or caregivers. and Parents and students should be educated about head lice as it can cause embarrassment and misunderstanding. Head lice can occur among all socioeconomic groups and is not tied to poor personal hygiene or uncleanliness. Also, head lice do not carry disease.

Guidance on Head Lice Prevention and Control for School Districts and Child Care Facilities: CDPH Revised March 2018

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 Click to View Head Lice Life Cycle

Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions 
English / Spanish 

Additional Resources
CDC: Fact sheet


Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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