Shortage of specialist shampoo sees lice rapidly infect Swiss schools

Shortage of specialist shampoo sees lice rapidly infect Swiss schools

A shortage of head lice shampoo is hitting parents in Switzerland hard as outbreaks of lice in Swiss schools continue to surge. The special shampoos used to treat lice have not been delivered due to supply bottlenecks after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Swiss pharmacies sold out of lice shampoo

Many pharmacies in Switzerland are already sold out of specialist shampoos that are needed to treat cases of lice. According to Swiss broadcaster SRF, some pharmacies have not seen their regular deliveries fulfilled in recent weeks due to issues with suppliers. 

"We are forced to buy lice shampoo abroad”, Lorenz Schmid, President of the Zurich Pharmacists Association told SRF. Importing the shampoo from other countries, therefore, leads to a higher price for the products in Switzerland. 

Parents in Switzerland hoarding lice shampoo

The shortages and price hikes have led some parents in Switzerland to hoard lice treatment products. “Some parents often treat their children with lice shampoo, even though they don't have lice”, Andrea-Seraina Bauschatz, head of the school medical service in Zurich, told SRF.  

Bauschatz went on to criticise this as pointless. According to her, lice treatments such as shampoos will only be effective against live lice - using the product as a preventative treatment will not help.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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