R. UMESH CHANDRAN, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY R. UMESH CHANDRAN, TDR, WHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Filariasis treatment, India. A diethylcarbamazine pill, used to treat filariasis, on the tongue of an Indian woman. Filariasis is caused by parasitic worms spread by blood-sucking insects. The worms invade the lymphatic system and can grow up to 50 cm long, producing thousands of larvae that spread around the body. Repeated infection can cause inflammation of lymph vessels and accumulation of fluid, which can lead to enormous enlargement of parts of the body (elephantiasis). The larvae of some species invade the eye, causing blindness. Treatment involves a course of the drug diethylcarbamazine, which is usually effective.
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