filariasis(redirected from filariases)
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, abnormal enlargement of any part of the body due to obstruction of the lymphatic channels in the area (see lymphatic system), usually affecting the arms, legs, or external genitals.
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any one of several helminthic diseases of man and animals caused by the roundworms filariae.
Filariases of man occur mainly in tropical countries; they do not occur in the USSR. The source of the infection which is transmitted by arthropods, such as Nematocera and Tabanidae, is an infected person or animal. The principal types of filariases in humans are wuchereriasis, Malayan filariasis, loaiasis, and onchocerciasis. Among the manifestations of infection are fever, skin rashes and ulcers, inflammation of the lymphatic vessels, elephantiasis of the arms, legs, and scrotum, and affection of the eyes. Treatment consists of medications such as diethylcarbamazine, suramin sodium, and desensitizing preparations. Preventive measures include the elimination of the seats of infection through the control of the transmitters and protection against insect bites with heavy clothing and repellents.
Filariases of animals—horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and camels—occur in many countries and in southern regions of the USSR. The most common and dangerous ones are onchocerciasis, setariasis, and cutaneous filaroid infection.