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Bad hair day? Selfies linked to spread of head lice

The "selfie" has come under fire this week after new research linked the self-portrait craze to head lice. Russian authorities have warned people about taking group selfies, as they can pose a risk of spreading the parasites to other people within the group.

The Kursk branch of the food safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor issued a cautionary warning last week about children taking group selfies, reaching out to parents and schools about how they should keep a close eye on children for any early signs of head lice.

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The term 'selfie' reached popular heights in 2013, with celebrities taking part in the phenomenon and Oxford Dictionaries' naming it the 'word of the year'.

In 2011, head lice treatment maker NYDA asked 1000 parents about head lice, and discovered that a third of parents would have removed their children from school temporarily, to prevent their children from catching the infestation.

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This isn't the first time the issue has been raised. In February this year, American news companies reported on head lice's relationship with taking a 'selfie' after speaking to lice-treatment expert, Marcy McQuillan.

Head lice are parasites known for inducing itching side effects on people's scalps, caused by two people rubbing their heads together.

Dangerous selfies

Not only has the craze been putting our hair at risk, but people determined to create a one-of-a-kind self-portrait are now being warned to not put their lives at risk.

Lake Tahoe visitors are being advised to not to take selfies of themselves with the park's wild bears, in California. The Forest Service have stated that the level of human interaction with the wild bears is now at an "unsafe level".

Lake Tahoe's Forest Supervisor, Nancy Gibson said "People are risking serious injury or death if they get too close to a bear." The bears themselves are at stake too, as they "may be captured and killed if they attack."

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Selfie enthusiasts also endanger themselves by taking photographs on top of iconic skyscrapers and landmarks. Known destinations have included Rio de Janeiro's "Christ the Redeemer" statue and Moscow's Evolution Tower.

Furthermore, more than one person has attempted to take a selfie during a bull run, with one man being trampled and another having faced a $4000 fine, according to the International Business Times.

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