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Elephantiasis

Elephantiasis

M160/0056

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Credit

DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Elephantiasis. Legs of a patient with lymphatic filariasis. Only the right leg has been affected. This disease is caused by parasitic nematode worms transmitted in larval form by the bite of mosquitoes. The larvae develop into adult worms that lodge in the lymphatic system. The worms block the lymphatic system, preventing the circulation of lymph fluid, which consequently accumulates in the limbs. This condition is known as lymphoedema, and more commonly elephantiasis. The condition is rarely fatal, but causes widespread suffering in tropical regions. Treatment involves drug therapy and rigorous hygiene to prevent skin infections.

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