What Is Filariasis?
It is a parasitic infectious disease caused by roundworms of the Filarioidea type. These are thread-like nematodes that belong to the roundworm filarioidea family.
This disease belongs to helminthiases. The infection is spread by blood-feeding mosquitoes and black flies. There are 8 types of known filarial nematodes which use human as their best host. They are divided into 3 categories on the basis of the niche in the body they occupy:
Lymphatic filariasis: Here, the lymphatic system is occupied by the worms including lymph nodes. These worms are Brugia timori, Wuchereria bancrofti, and Brugia malayi. In chronic conditions, elephantiasis may develop.
Subcutaneous filariasis: Here, the subcutaneous layer of the skin is occupied by the worms. These worms are Onchocerca volvulus, Mansonella streptocera and Loa loa.
Serous cavity filariasis: Here, the serous cavity of the abdomen is occupied by the worms. These worms are Mansonella ozzardi and Mansonella perstans Mansonella ozzardi.
What Are The Symptoms Of Filariasis?
The most common symptom is edema which further results in elephantiasis (swelling and thickening of the skin and underlying tissues). This occurs when worms attack the lymphatic system.
Other symptoms are :
- Subcutaneous form: itching, urticaria, skin rashes, arthritis, onchocerciasis(river blindness)
- Serous cavity filariasis: Symptoms are similar to subcutaneous form in addition to abdominal pain
What Are The Causes Of Filariasis?
Filariasis is caused by the infected mosquitoes of Filarioidea type. They bite the human body and inject filarial parasites into the body. Multiplication of microfilariae by takes place inside the body which can live for around 6-8 years in a body. Thus millions of immature larvae are produced which circulates in the blood.
When mosquitoes bite the infected person microfilariae enters their bloodstream. They develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito. When these infected mosquitoes bite the human body, the mature parasite larvae are injected into the body through the skin and bloodstream. They mature into an adult worm in the lymphatic vessel and in this way the cycle of transmission continues.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Filariasis?
- Sleep under a mosquito net during net to prevent the attack of mosquitoes
- Limit your outdoor activities during dusk and dawn. As during this time period, the mosquitoes are highly active.
- Cover yourself with the full sleeves clothes to minimize the attack on the body. More the skin is exposed more will be chances of an attack.
- Use mosquito repellent on the exposed skin. This will keep the mosquitoes away.
- Exercise to reduce the inflammation and to keep the body warm.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Filariasis?
- Avoid going out at dusk and dawn as during this period parasites are highly active.
- Don’t keep water in coolers for a long duration.
- Don’t drink cold water as it can make you fall ill
- Restrict the intake of milk and its products
- Don’t allow the water to stand in sewage and your household as these are the common sites for mosquitoes.
What Are The Best Foods For Filariasis?
- Cloves, Agarwood, black walnut oil: These helps to kill the parasite and remove them from the blood.
- High protein and low-fat diet: This will boost the immunity and will help to fight the infection
- Probiotics: These are very much helpful in digestion and maintain the good health of intestinal tract.
- Oregano: These are very much helpful in fighting with parasites.
- Drink plenty of water to remove toxins from the body.
What Are The Worst Foods For Filariasis?
- Fatty and spicy foods: These increases the inflammation so should be avoided.
What Are The Medicines For Filariasis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Filariasis?
- Filariasis can be managed with preventive techniques. The best way to prevent this disease is to stay away from mosquitoes and protect yourself from their infectious bites.
- Keeping the surrounding clean will reduce the mosquitoes.
- This is a global health issue. Education and awareness can help to eradicate this infectious disease from the society.