Elephantiasis

The parasitic worm called by name Wuchereria bancrofti causes elephantiasis and is carried by common flies and mosquitoes which inject the worms into the host cell. The prominent symptom of elephantiasis is enlargement of glands and swelling of lymphatic vessels. Mostly it affects the lower extremes of the body like legs and torso. The affected parts of limbs become enlarged due to accumulation of fluid discharge into the tissues. It causes severe inflammation with pain. Sometimes the skin develop ulcer like growth and grows dark on the affected area. Fever, discomfort, pain and chills are quite common in this disease.

In rare cases, it may also attack the genitals of men and women. The scrotum gets inflamed and the penile area may get retracted below the skin getting hot and painful. In females, the vulva can be attacked creating tumor like growth on the skin and upper vagina. The lymph nodes become enlarged due to fluid collection.

The primary cause for getting elephantiasis is mosquito bite and insect bites. Walking barefoot in the garden and following unhygienic practice is the major cause for getting this disease. Some tiny chemical particles will enter into the tissue of the legs while you walk on the soil with bare feet. Elephantiasis is common in African countries and small parts of Asia.

Chemotherapy is given for destroying the adult worms in the lymph nodes. Medications like antrypol, diethyl carbamazine and mectizan are given to kill the worms. In severe cases, surgery is done to remove the damaged lymph nodes from the body. In recent times, massage therapy is also useful in curing the disorder.

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