It is a tropical disease caused by parasitic worms that are spread through mosquito bites.
Also medically known as lymphatic filariasis, the term elephantiasis is commonly used because symptoms include swelling and enlargement of the arms and feet.
Most cases do not have any symptoms at all. Those infected with microscopic worms most likely are not aware and pass the parasites to others.
Most commonly there is swelling of arms, legs and genitalia.
Causes of elephantiasis.
It is caused by parasitic worms that spread by mosquitoes. There are three types of worms involved; Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, Brugia timori.
The worms affect lymphatic systems in the body. Lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste and toxins.
Diagnosis of elephantiasis.
1. Medical history.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms and do a physical test.
2. Blood test.
Your doctor will take a sample of your blood and send it to the lab where it is examined for presence of the parasites.
3. X ray and ultra sound.
It is conducted to rule out the possibility if other problems causing the same symptoms.
1. Antiparasitic drugs i.e. diethylcarbamazine(DEC) and albendazone(Albenzo).
2. Caring for wound in affected area.
3. Surgery in extreme cases.
4. Elevating areas affected.
5. Using good hygiene to clean affected area.
6. Exercising based on doctors instructions.
1. Avoiding mosquitoes.
2. Using mosquito nets.
3. Getting rid of mosquito breeding areas.
4. Wearing long sleeved shirt and pants I areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.
5. Taking DEC, Albenza and invermectin as a preventive treatment before traveling to areas prone to infection.