Nits' effects more psychological than physical

Researchers at James Cook University, Townsville, collected responses to a question posted on their head lice information website: “What were your feelings upon discovery of head lice?’’

Of nearly 300 eligible responses from around the world, more than half were from Australia and 90% female. Nearly 80% of respondents reported strong negative emotions.

Examples of responses included: “I felt disgusted and ready for combat”; “Horrified – I’d never had them as a child so all those stigmatised beliefs came