This excerpt comes from Chapters 16 and 36 of Jack Lawson’ two volume masterpiece, “Civil Defense Manual”. You can grab a copy of his book here. Jack is a strong supporter of American Partisan, and even had NC Scout write the chapter on Radio Communications (Chapter 17 in Volume I). I bought my copy the day it become available and I highly recommend you do as well.
From accounts of German soldiers cut off from supplies, surrounded, starving and in filthy conditions at the
World War II Battle of Stalingrad…
“Medical orderlies changing bandages found grey masses of body lice crawling on to their own wrists and arms from patients.”
“They (lice) begin to leave the dying marching in a straight line for another live body. The lice could sense that the death of their present host was near and when a man died, the body lice could be seen leaving his body en masse in search of other living flesh.”
Lice infestations are debilitating, demoralizing and dangerous.
de·bil·i·tat·ing / di-ˈbi-lə-ˌtā-tiŋ , dē- /
Definition of debilitating: causing serious impairment of strength or ability to function; For example… debilitating pain, a debilitating fear of public speaking, a debilitating illness.
Origin: The term derives from 1525-35 Latin dēbilitātus, equivalent to dēbilit-, stem of dēbilis weak + -ātus -ate
Causes of Lice
Lice (‘lice’ is plural… singular is ‘louse’) are parasitic pathogens as defined in Chapter 36-“Surviving Biological Infectious Disease and Chemical Warfare” of the Civil Defense Manual.
How to treat and get rid of lice is part of Chapter 16-“Medical and medical resource information” of the Civil Defense Manual.
Body lice are most common in crowded and unhygienic living conditions, such as refugee camps, areas of war or natural disasters, military siege areas and shelters for homeless people. Lice can spread from contact with a person or contact with an infected person’s clothes. Body lice bites can spread certain types of diseases and can even cause epidemics. Pubic lice infestations are usually spread through sexual contact.
Lice can’t jump or fly.
Poor sanitation is the number one cause of lice.
Messy, dusty, dirty, cluttered living areas, improper disposal of trash and food containers, lack of washing bedding, clothing and lack of body hygiene… filthy bodies. Lice can infect clean people in highly sanitary circumstances… but poor sanitation will almost guarantee an eventual lice infestation.
This is why the military is anally retentive about having extreme cleanliness of bodies, clothing and clean and orderly barracks and living quarters. Not just so it looks pretty… but these procedures keep pathogens from infecting personnel.
The danger of Body Lice
Of the three types of lice… the body lice (louse as type C in the diagram below) is the one you have to worry most about, because it spreads diseases such as epidemic typhus, fevers and more.
Symptoms of Lice
Recognizing the signs of head, body and pubic lice infestation is pretty apparent. You will have intense itching and or a rash caused by an allergic reaction to body lice bites the same as a mosquito bite. This may be accompanied by red bumps on the skin, in the case of body lice thickened or darkened skin, usually near the waist, crotch and areas where clothing fits tightly.
Common signs and symptoms of lice include: Intense itching on the scalp, body or in the genital area. You will have the sensation of a tickling feeling from movement of hair. Lice infest your scalp, body, clothing, pubic and other body hair. When body lice are bad enough, you’ll feel like your skin is crawling, according to accounts of people who have lived with severe infestations.
Lice lay eggs, called ‘nits,’ which also have to be removed to rid yourself of lice. Lice can spread, but they’re not a sign of poor hygiene. Clean people in clean environments can get lice also. Not as common… but it does occur.
Infestation with body lice results in a condition called pediculosis. Intense itching (“pruritus”) and rash, caused by an allergic reaction to the louse bites, are common symptoms of body lice infestation. As with other lice infestations, intense itching leads to scratching which can cause sores and secondary bacterial infection of the skin.
Characteristics and habits of lice
Lice live on human blood and suck it out of you just like a female mosquito sucks it from you for her eggs. The above German soldier accounts of lice ‘sensing death’ and leaving the dying, is probably the result of low or flatlining blood pressure preventing them from drawing blood through the capillaries of the skin.
There are three different types of lice and each has an area of the human body they prefer… again, body lice are the most dangerous of the three because they can carry diseases. Body lice infest clothing and bedding.
Lice can infest the human head, the entire body or pubic area. The female of the head and pubic louse produces a sticky substance that firmly attaches each egg to the base of a hair shaft. Eggs hatch in six to nine days. You can get lice by coming into contact with either lice or their eggs. Pubic lice infestations (pthiriasis from the Pthirus pubis louse) are usually spread through sexual contact.
Body lice are similar to head lice and pubic lice but have different habits. While head lice and pubic lice live in your hair and feed on your scalp and skin, body lice usually live in your clothes and bedding… but if bad enough they will stay in armpits and other folds and recesses of the human body.
They travel to your skin several times a day to feed on blood… you are their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Body lice closely resemble head lice and pubic lice, but are much less common. A single body louse is a small, wingless, flat insect.
Body lice must feed on blood and usually only move to the skin to feed. Body lice exist worldwide and infest people of all races. Lice are not politically correct and are totally non-discriminatory. All Lives Matter to lice.
Head lice feed on blood from the scalp. The female louse lays eggs (known as nits) that stick to hair shafts.
Pubic lice, Also Known and Affectionately Nicknamed (AKAN) ‘crabs,’ feed on blood from the skin in and around your genitals and they infest the hair of your private parts. Measuring about 1/16-inch, pubic lice got their nickname because their bodies are shaped similar to a water crab’s body.
The female louse lays eggs (known as nits) that stick to hair shafts. Pubic lice typically are found attached to hair in the pubic area but sometimes are found on coarse hair elsewhere on the body like eyebrows, eyelashes, beard hair, mustache, chest, armpit hair.
Head lice, Body lice and Pubic lice (crabs) all feed on human blood. Lice found on each of the areas of the body are different, but you get rid of them essentially the same way. Head lice will be more common, but body lice are potentially deadly because they carry disease. If there is a Collapse Of Society, sex will be the last thing on most people’s minds… but there will be sexual activity to some degree… so there will be pubic lice infestations amongst those people.