Report: Group 'selfie' may be responsible for recent increase in lice cases

40 percent increase reported in lice treatment cases

Published On: Feb 26 2014 11:34:27 AM EST   Updated On: Mar 02 2014 04:17:35 PM EST

A recently estimated 40 percent increase in high school and college students who are receiving head-lice treatments has California-based head-lice expert, Marcy McQuillan believing that the "group selfie" may be responsible.

A selfie is a type of self portrait that is usually taken with a hand held digital device. A group selfie is two or more people taking a selfie-photo of themselves in close proximity of one another.

The Province reports that since the pests can’t jump or fly, McQuillan suspects the proximity of these head-to-head photos are what’s causing the increase in patients she’s seen in the last two years at her two head-lice treatment clinics.

But local school boards and health experts say they haven’t seen enough of an increase in head lice among teens for McQuillan’s theory to hold water.