Monday, October 22, 2018

Filariasis: disease and symptoms

Filarial infections are caused by skin and tissue-dwelling worms (filariae) that are transmitted through the bites of infected flies. Filarial infections are caused by a group of worms (filariae) found throughout tropical countries and are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected flies, mosquitoes, or midges.

Filariasis is a helminthic infection found principally in tropical and subtropical areas in Africa, and in the South Pacific regions. The disease is transmitted from man through several genera and species of mosquitoes. The acute disease is manifested by recurrent chills and fever and by visible swelling or nodules of the lymphatics and redness of the overlaying skin due to parasitic involvement.

Infections with human filarial nematodes affect 170 million people world wide out of which more than 150 million people are from the tropics. The illness usually subsides gradually with or without therapy. But in those who have been repeatedly infected and are chronically ill, the inflammatory reaction and scarring of the tissues surrounding the vessels may impede the flow of lymph and blood, and mammoth enlargement (“elephantiasis”) of the arms, legs, scrotum and breasts can occur.

During World War II approximately fifteen thousand American military personnel became infected, but prompted withdrawal of these patients from the endemic zones prevented chronic disease and elephantiasis.
Filariasis: disease and symptoms
Wuchereria bancrofti
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