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Head lice are not necessarily present due to neglect, unsanitary living conditions, or any kind of abuse. Lice are most easily spread among children who share clothing, hats, or very close contact in these classroom settings. While head lice make no distinction between races, sexes, or economic classes of people, girls tend to get head lice more often than boys, and women more than men.

Body lice infestations spread rapidly under crowded conditions where hygiene is poor and there is frequent contact among people, and infestation is unlikely to persist on anyone who bathes regularly and who regularly has access to freshly laundered clothing and bedding.

The good news is that head and body lice are currently not known to transmit any diseases to humans, so they are not health threats in that way.