Diagnosis and Treatment of Filariasis
Filariasis is diagnosed by direct demonstration of the microfilariae in the nocturnal blood sample or skin specimen. Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is the recommended medicine for treating filariasis.
Diagnosis 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).
Treatment of Filariasis:
Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) is the recommended medicine for treating filariasis. It is 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.
While medicines are available to treat filaria, the gross swelling of the leg makes a person look noticeable and ugly. Hence, it is better to protect from the bites of filaria mosquitoes. Use of aerosols; mosquito repellent creams, mats, coils; nets and prevention of breeding of mosquitoes with better practice of hygiene and sanitation can help prevent filariasis.