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Treatment Of Filariasis: Symptoms, Causes, And Prevention

Treatment of filariasis Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

A Brief Introduction To Filariasis Disease

One of the infectious diseases that spreads through mosquito bites, Filariasis can lead to inflammation, fever, and swelling. You get Filariasis (also called elephantiasis) through tiny parasitic or filarial worms that infect your lymphatic system; therefore the disease is also called lymphatic Filariasis.

The lymphatic system is responsible for balancing fluid levels and helping protect the human body from infections. Well, then, what causes Filariasis? The disease is an infectious ailment triggered by roundworm parasites belonging to the Filarioidea family of nematodes. Insects transmit the sickness – black flies and mosquitoes – which spread it by feeding on human blood like malaria and dengue fever.

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This disease is most common in tropical climates, such as in countries like Africa, Asia, and South America tend to have a higher number of cases. Studies suggest that around 120 million people worldwide suffer from the infection, equal to 1.5% of the world’s total population.

In this blog guide, we will go through Filariasis causes symptoms treatment to understand the infection better.

Filariasis Symptoms And Sign

The symptoms and signs depend on person to person. Some people suffering from the infection would have no symptoms at all. At the same time, some affected people may have dozens of acute inflammations of lymphangitis along with body aches, high temperatures, swollen lymph nodes, and shaking chills.

The common signs and symptoms observed in the later stage of elephantiasis include an assemblage of pus in the cells, redness, swelling, pain in the legs and arms, and hindrance in the lymphatic system leading to edema.

The formation of pus in the cells because of secondary infection leads to

  • Skin rashes.
  • Damage to the cornea, retina or optic nerve leads to loss of vision.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Hyperpigmented skin on the arms, face, feet, and other body parts.

Some people might also have unusually high levels of certain white blood cells, also called eosinophilia, during acute episodes of signs and symptoms. The level of white blood cells returns to normal automatically after the inflammation resolves.

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Filariasis Diagnosis And Treatment

The diagnosis of this disease is quite difficult as the signs and symptoms differ from one person to another, one type to another. Moreover, the symptoms diagnosed in the early stage are identical to normal bacterial and viral infections.

The diagnosis requires a blood examination, examined by the doctor for all the external symptoms demonstrated by the patient, and the blood sample is collected. Your healthcare provider will examine your blood sample under a microscope, letting them observe if your blood has filarial bacteria. A filarial worm moves in your blood at nighttime since they are nocturnal. Consequently, you may need to have your blood drawn at night.

In certain cases, PCR analysis of the patient’s blood is also carried out to find the presence of filarial antigen protein. Moreover, MRI, CT, and X-ray scans are also carried out to examine the lymph nodes and their secretions.

The treatment plans for the disease vary differently depending on your symptoms and the severity of the signs. Generally, the treatment options include:

  • It may be necessary to perform surgery to remove dead worms from the bloodstream. Surgery may also be necessary if the infection has caused your scrotum to become engorged with fluid.
  • You may need to consume anti-parasitic medication such as ivermectin, albendazole, or diethylcarbamazine. These drugs help you kill the adult worms in your bloodstream or keep them from reproducing.
  • Your doctor may suggest elevation or compression garments cope with swelling issues.
  • It is best treated with anthelmintic drugs or antibiotics if contracted. Anthelmintic is the best alternative as it kills the germs directly.

In tropical areas around the world, mosquito control is essential for preventing this infection. Some of the steps to help you prevent mosquito bites are:

  • Try wearing long pants and long sleeves to cover your whole body.
  • Use a mosquito net when sleeping.
  • Wear insect repellent at night, especially if your skin is exposed.
  • Avoid dark-colored clothes that attract mosquitoes.

Maintaining good hygiene will help you prevent the worsening of bacterial infections caused by Filariasis. Mass drug administration (MDA) is a recommended treatment for this infection that involves the administration of two medicines at once – albendazole combined with either ivermectin. It is possible to reduce the number of worms in your bloodstream and relieve your symptoms by taking medication every year.

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