ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nasty Infectious Diseases You Want To Avoid - Filariasis

Updated on December 31, 2008

This is a group of tropical diseases caused by a range of parasitic roundworms and larvae that transmit disease to humans. About 200 million people are affected by filariasis, which occurs in tropic and subtropic areas of southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and the Pacific. Mosquitoes inject the worm larvae when they bite, which migrate to the lymph nodes where they develop into mature worms in about a year.

Some of the species live in the lymphatic vessels and block them, causing Elephantiasis (swelling of limbs with thickened, coarse skin). Another type of worm can be seen and felt just underneath the skin, which produces irritating and painful swellings called calabar swellings.

Bancroftian filariasis (Wuchereria bancrofti larial nematode) is spread widely throughout Africa, southern and southeastern Asia, the Pacific, and the tropical and subtropical regions of South America. Malayan filariasis (Brugia malayi filarial nematode) is found only in southern and southeastern Asia. Imported cases of the filariases may be found in the United States, especially among immigrants from the Caribbean and Pacific islands.

Cause - Bancroftian and Malayan filariases are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The infective larvae that are transmitted into humans via the bite pass into the human lymph system, where they develop to maturity during a 6- to 12-month period. Fertilized mature female worms release embryos that develop into moving larvae (microfilariae), which appear in the human blood system at night only.

Symptoms - Initial inflammatory symptoms occur between three months to a year after the mosquito bite, with episodes of chills, headache, and fever. The fever is often associated with inflammation of the lymphatic system. There is swelling, redness, and pain in the arms, legs, or scrotum. An abscess may occur as a result of dying worms and secondary bacterial infection. Repeated episodes of inflammation lead to symptoms lead to obstruction of the lymphatic system, especially in the genital and leg areas. Chronic swelling stimulates the growth of connective tissue in the skin, causing massive permanent enlargement and deformity (elephantiasis). In Bancroftian filariasis the legs and genitalia are most often involved; in the Malayan variety the portion of the legs below the knees are affected, but the genitals are usually spared. The extent of the total enlargement can vary, but in extreme cases the legs or scrotum can expand to constitute almost half of the entire body mass of the infected individual.

Diagnosis - Blood specimen examination for filaria antigen, patient history, and appearance of the patient.

Treatment - The prognosis is good in early or mild cases, and if the patient can avoid reinfection. Three weeks of diethylcarbamazine cures the infection. However, reactions to large numbers of dying parasites are common (fever, malaise, nausea, and vomiting), so doses are usually low at first. Oral antihistamines may help control hives, and elastic stockings may help control swelling. However, no treatment can reverse elephantiasis. Surgery may ease massive enlargement of the scrotum.

Prevention - In infested areas, filariasis can be controlled by taking diethylcarbamazine or ivermectin preventively, and by using insecticides, repellents, nets, and protective clothing.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)