Filariasis is a major mosquito-borne parasitic infection which primarily attacks the body’s lymphatic system, leading to bodily swelling and skin thickening especially in the lower extremities. Among men, it can also cause profound swelling of the testicles.
Despite the availability of medications like Albendazole to treat it, filariasis continues to be a public health problem in the Philippines, especially among rural poor: According to the DOH, the disease affects mostly the poorest municipalities in the country about 76% of the case live in the 4th-6th class type of municipalities. For instance, this year alone, 33 cases of lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis have been recorded in the barangays (villages) of Maan and Mongocayo in Tboli, South Cotabato.
Every November, the Philippines commemorates “Filariasis Awareness Month” to raise public consciousness about this enduring public health concern.
For more information about filariasis, visit the Filariasis page in Healthy Pilipinas: https://healthypilipinas.ph/health-a-to-z/filariasis