Notes on the symptoms, prevention and treatment of Filaria

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Filaria is also an infectious disease caused by the bite of culex mosquito. It can happen to any person. The causative organism is a Nematode known as ‘Wuchereria (filaria) bancrofti’ these is small thread-like worms found in the blood of a person suffering from the disease.

Symptoms

Initially headache, malaise and the patient feels very lethargic. Gradually it is characterised by inflammation of lymph vessels and lymph glands. There is fever with swelling of the affected tissues. Periodical attacks lead to thickening of tissues known as ‘elephantiasis’. Once elephantiasis is developed, no filaria is found in the blood, because all the embryos get locked up in the lymphatics. Lower limbs and scrotum are commonly affected.

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Mode of spread:

This disease spreads through culex mosquito which breeds in dirty water. When culex mosquito bites a person suffering from filaria, the germs of the disease enter its body along with the blood. These germs are transferred in a healthy person, when the mosquito bites him/her. In this way the disease spreads.

Treatment

If this disease is treated in the initial stage, it can be cured. Once the swelling occurs, it remains permanently.

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Prevention

Preventing the spread of mosquitoes is the thrust area to prevent filaria. Give co­operation to the health workers of filaria control programme when they come for blood collection complete the treatment if germs of filaria are found in the blood.

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