At least a half dozen of the 16-odd child cast of the Broadway musical, “Matilda the Musical”, have been stricken with a  lice infestation, Page Six reports.

Image/Janice Carr
Image/Janice Carr

Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, are ectoparasites that infests thehead, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Though head lice feed on human blood, they are not considered vectors of disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

Because the head lice cannot jump or fly, direct contact with an infested person is required to get it. Contact with infested personal items and clothing is also a vehicle for transmission. A lack of personal hygiene has nothing to do with getting head lice.

Body lice infestations (pediculosis) are spread most commonly by close person-to-person contact but are generally limited to persons who live under conditions of crowding and poor hygiene (for example, the homeless, refugees, etc.). Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the transmission of human lice.

Body lice are known to spread disease. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

According to the Royal Shakespeare Company website, Matilda is the captivating musical masterpiece that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, with book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin.