Published On : Tue, Mar 14th, 2017

Is Filariasis raising its ugly head in Nagpur, menacingly?

Nagpur: Yet another deadly disease seems to be raising its ugly head in the Second Capital City of Nagpur. Filariasis (Elephantiasis) is spreading its tentacles in Nagpur District menacingly. 319 cases of Filariasis (Hathipaon) positive were found in the district in 2016 with Gadchiroli on top of chart with 660 cases in the same period. Gondia is at the bottom with just 87 positive samples. Interestingly, The State Government set up an independent department aimed at eradication of the ugly disease but the disease seems to be spreading threateningly despite innumerable measures to curb it.

The telling figures:
• A total of 1943 samples were found Filariasis positive in Nagpur Division in 2016.
• Around 2.25 lakh blood samples were tested in Nagpur district in the year out of which 319 samples were found positive.
• In Gadchiroli, out of 81366 samples tested, 660 found positive.
• Bhandara saw 173 positive cases in 1.55 lakh samples.
• Gondia was found least affected as only 87 samples were found positive out of 12,630.
• Chandrapur too was found breeding the disease with 634 positive cases out of a total of 1.45 lakh samples.
• Blood samples collected by Survey Units from various parts found 59 samples positive when 32689 samples were tested in 2016.

Filariasis is not a life-threatening infection but it can cause lasting damage to the lymphatic system. The disease causes no symptoms in the initial stage. Therefore, most people initially are not aware that they have Filariasis. Lymphedema with thickening of the skin and underlying tissues is the classical symptom of Filariasis. The disease is usually diagnosed by direct demonstration of the parasite in the nocturnal blood sample or skin specimen. There are eight different types of thread-like nematodes that cause filariasis. Most cases of Filaria are caused by the parasite known as Wuchereria bancrofti.

Common steps to ward off Filariasis (Elephantiasis):
• Protect yourselves from mosquito bite. Culex is a genus of mosquitoes, several species of which serve as vectors of one or more important diseases with Filariasis being one of them. The specie of mosquito generally hunts its preys in the mornings and evenings.
• The mosquitoes in Filariasis-infested areas should be vanquished.
• Wear such clothes that cover your sleeves and legs adequatly.
• It is better to protect from the bites of filarial-spreading mosquitoes by using mosquito repellent creams, mats, coils, aerosols and prevent breeding of mosquitoes with better practice of hygiene and sanitation.
• Get treatment at the initial stage of the disease.