Filariasis-Causes,Types,Symptoms And Treatment


Filariasis-Causes,Types,Symptoms And Treatment.

Filariasis is an infectious disease which is being caused by roundworm (filaria worm). This disease is passed from one person to another by mosquitoes and also black flies.




  • Bancroftian filariasis
  • Loiasis filariasis



This type of filariasis is widespread in Africa and many other tropical countries. It is spread by mosquitoes which bite at night.


  • Painful swelling of the foot, rising up of the leg to the groin and genitals. This gradually goes down.
  • Attacks of swelling come and go over several months, but the condition may eventually become permanent with ‘elephantiasis’ of the leg and a big scrotum.

Cases with repeated painful swelling of a foot should be taken to a medical center. A blood test taken at night will show the baby filaria worms of wucheria bancrofti. Do not wait for elephantiasis.

Treatment with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) will kill the worms and cure the early disease. Only surgical operations can give some help to those with elephantiasis.



This kind of filariasis only occurs in tropical forest countries on the coast of West Africa. It is spread by a day-biting fly, like a brown house-fly called chrysops.


  • Swelling on the back of the hand or around the eye, or on the leg; which often come on after exercise. The area feels like a bruise but is not hot or throbbing like an abscess. It is caused by the baby filaria worms. The swelling goes down by itself after a few days.
  • Sometimes the adult worm is felt and may be seen wriggling across the white part of the eyes beside the pupil. The worm is white and 1½ inches long, it moves about a quater of an inch in a minute. The baby worms do not get inside the eye to cause blindness, as in onchocerciasis.

Treatment with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) kills both adult and baby worms, without an itching reaction. A medical center that is prepared for a quick operation can sometimes remove the worm from the eye with local drops to take away the pain.



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