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Can head lice jump or fly from one head to another?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a LOUSE! Nope, it’s not a louse. Head lice are parasitic insects, like ticks, that need human blood to survive, and they move by crawling. They do wander from one infested host to another, all on foot or by hitchhiking on items used for hair such as hats, scarves, and sports equipment like headgear. They cannot hop or fly.
Angela Lowery
Family Medicine
No, head lice cannot fly or jump from one head to another. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person, head-to-head contact, clothing, brushes, combs or towels.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.