Filarial Worms Essay, Research Paper
Lymphatic Filariasis is the worm that causes the strange disease Elephantiasis. It
is only found in tropical regions so people living in the northern United States do not
have to fear of contracting the disease.
The Filariasis worm can be up to 100cm long and once they are inside of your
body the female worms lay live young so there is heavy infestation within your body.
One thing you might be wondering is what the lymphatic system is and the lymphatic
system is a string of very tiny veins that drain excess fluid.
The life cycle of the Filariasis is as follows. First a mosquito bites an infected
person and drinks the juvenile worms as it is sucking blood. Next it bites another person
and injects those juveniles into that persons blood system where the juveniles will grow
into adults. They also produce live young within your body one they reach the adult level.
The side effect of this infestation is massive swelling to a certain area of your.
body. In woman it is usually in the breast or vulva region and in men it is usually in the
genital area. Men are more likely to contract this disease than women and adults are also
more likely to contract this disease than children.
Scientists do not know how the disease actually started but they do have some
definite treatment plans. In a large area of infected persons they try to eliminate the
juvenile worms the infected persons so that the mosquitoes may not pick them up. As an
individual person they use certain antibiotics (albendazole and DEC) which has been
proven to kill the adult stage of the Filariasis worm.
The Filariasis worm infects over 43 million people in Southeast Asia, Pacific, and
the Americas. When the infection is contained in a somewhat community area 10-50% of
the men have the disease and usually only around 10% of the women contract it.
The disease may also take many years to actually cause the massive swelling
that it does. The only way to get ride of the extra tissue if you happen to get the worm removed is to have the extra tissue surgically removed.
Although scientists have no definite treatment for this particular worm you can bet that they are working on one right now.