What is Filaria?
Filaria is a long, thread-like roundworm called Wuchereria Bancrofti that lives as a parasite in the bodies of human beings and animals. The male worm is shorter than the female and it has a curved tail. This is mainly found in Central Africa, Asia and the Southwest Pacific.
The young worms can be seen in the blood near the body surface of the host or the animal in which the larvae live. When a mosquito bites an infected person at night, it takes up the larvae with the blood. These larvae develop in the mosquito, near the mouth. Then when the insect bites a man or another animal the larvae enter the wound and infect a new host.
The adult worms live in the lymph - a body fluid. When the worms block the flow of lymph, a disease called Elephantiasis results. This disease is characterised by severe swelling of the limbs, usually the legs. Sometimes it even can affect the breast or the scrotum.
This gross swelling in the legs and other parts of the body and the thickening of the skin due to blockage fo the vessels of the lymphatic system is called Elephantiasis.
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 oneself from the bites of filaria mosquitoes. Use aerosols, mosquito repellenets, creams, mats coils, nets and prevent breeding of mosquitoes with better practice of hygiene and sanitation.