Head lice outbreak at elementary school in Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- An elementary school in Dauphin County is closing for two days after an outbreak of head lice in students.

Foose School in Harrisburg School District will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Dr. Naazneen Iqbal, a pediatrician with UPMC Pinnacle, said, "Kids are now in school again. We may see a resurgence a bit at the beginning of the school year."

Head lice is a parasitic infection and can cause an itchy scalp.

Iqbal said, "Lice can only crawl. They can't jump or fly or anything like that. So there usually has to be direct head-to-head contact."

Experts said you can buy over-the-counter treatment to fight off the lice and make sure to clean bedding and clothes.

Millions of children across the country between 3-11 years old get head lice each year.

"It has nothing to do with hygiene or socioeconomic status. Anyone can get lice," Iqbal said.

In a release, the school said they have scheduled educational sessions with parents and are providing lice treatment kits.

But doctors caution people not to go to extremes.

"Some of the old wives tales where you shave the head, or apply like mayonnaise or Vaseline to kind of suffocate the lice we really don't recommend," Iqbal said.