Lymphatic filariasis is commonly known as Elephantiasis. It is the enlargement of the legs, arms, genitals. According to Webster’s dictionary elephantiasis is a disease of the skin, in which it becomes enormously thickened, and is rough, hard, and fissured, like an elephant hide. This is cause by three different parasite infections from round worms: Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. The worms block the lymphatic system- a system network of channels, lymph nodes, and organs that helps maintain proper fluid levels in the body by draining lymph from tissues into the bloodstream (Placek). The one that is responsible for the most cases of elephantiasis are wuchereia bancrofti worms. History
Elephantiasis is found in regions of South America, Central Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean. It was said that elephantiasis has been around for centuries (Lydia). The ancient Persians and Indians wrote about elephant like swelling of the arm, leg, and genitals. Since then there has been approximately 120 million cases of elephantiasis as of 1997 (Anirudh). Causes
Elephantiasis is caused by a human getting bit by a female mosquito that is infected. This allows larvae to move freely to and thru-out the lymphatic system. The larva grows and become what we know as adult worms. They grow to be about one to four inches long and can live three to eight years. Some have been known to live longer. While in the human the adult worms start to produce live embryos. These are called microfilariae. The embryos move throughout the bloodstream and wait their turn to be sucked in by a mosquito and there the cycle continues (Placek). Symptoms
A person affected will undergo various symptoms. These symptoms are fevers, sweating, shaking chills, vomiting, and pain. Some of the most common symptoms are enlarge lymph nodes, swelling of affected area and skin ulcers. Although elephantiasis can be found in the arms and genitals,...
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