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Diseases » Head lice » Contagiousness

Is Head lice Contagious?

Transmission of Head lice from Person to Person

Head lice is considered to be contagious between people. Generally the infectious agent may be transmitted by saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc.
Head lice, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.
The contagious disease, Head lice, can be transmitted:

  • from person to person by saliva, air, coughing, contact, surfaces, fecal-oral route, etc.

Contagion summary:

Spread by direct contact with hair or objects such as hats, combs, headphones, etc.

Contagiousness properties for Head lice:

  Contagious overall?: Yes

  Contagious by physical contact (non-sexual)?: Yes

  Contagious from bedding?: Yes

  Contagious from clothing?: Yes

  Contagious from towels?: Yes

Discussion about Contagion of Head lice:

How did my child get head lice? (Source: excerpt from Head Lice Infestation: DPD)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Head lice is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.


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