Diagnosis and Treatment of Filariasis
The commonly used method to diagnose filariasis includes-
- Direct demonstration of microfilariae in blood or skin specimens. The blood sample is usually collected at night as microfilariae have nocturnal periodicity.
- Detection of antibodies by immunodiagnostic tests
- Detection of circulating filarial antigen (CFA).
How do you Treat Filariasis?
Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is the recommended medicine for treating filariasis. It kills microfilaria and does not have any effect on the adult worms. Thus, it only helps to control transmission of infection from one person to other. It may cause a reaction in some individuals. Ivermectin or albendazole may be useful in some patients.
Good hygiene of the affected part prevents the worsening of the lymphedema and secondary bacterial skin infections.
The affected limb should be kept elevated and regular exercises should be done to improve the lymph flow.