Filariasis (Elephantiasis)
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Filariasis also known as Elephantiasis is a parasitic disease that is easily spread by the bite of a mosquito and affects the lymphatic system causing excessive swelling.

Filariasis Symptoms
Visible swelling and tissue damage often in the leg area, other symptoms include:

Cause Of Filariasis
Filariasis is caused by three types of parasitic worms known as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and Brugia timori which infect the lymphatic system via the bite of an infected mosquito.

The worms mature inside the lymph vessels and release worm larvae into the blood stream, when a mosquito bites a person the worm larvae are ingested by the mosquito where they develop before being released into another person through a bite.

Areas Affected By Filariasis
The disease is found in tropical areas such as Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

Treatment For Filariasis.
Treatment involves medication to remove the parasite, exercise to improve circulation, skin care by washing any affected areas soap and clean water, treatment of any infections and in some cases pressure bandaging.

How To Help Prevent Filariasis
The main aim is to reduce the likelihood of receiving an infected mosquito bite, when in high risk areas try to wear long protective clothing, wear plenty of insect repellent, using bed netting and window insect screens.